“Discount retailer Lidl GB says that as inflation continues to tighten budgets, more families are turning away from traditional supermarkets in the UK to their stores. So just how much of a transition are they seeing?
According to its latest financial reports, Lidl claims that more than 770,000 shoppers have been choosing their supermarkets each week over the past year. Of course, Lidl also has seen tremendous expansion during that time. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, the deep discounters have become the go-top shops for customers trying to save money, and that has only increased in this tight fiscal period. Both The Grocer and Which? have highlighted the tremendous savings each discounter is delivering to customers – across all aisles, including fresh produce – and above and beyond the price matches that are occurring at Tesco and others.
“As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, we are more focused than ever on supporting our colleagues, our customers and the communities we serve,” Ryan McDonnell, Lidl GB CEO, said. “This year alone, we have invested £50m raising hourly pay rates, making us the highest paying retailer, and we’ve donated 5 million meals. As a discount supermarket, we are in the best possible position to support people through these challenging times, and it’s our absolute priority that we continue to do so.”
The company says shoppers have been “flocking to Lidl stores for British produce” along with locally produced meat and eggs. Notably, it poured £100 million into its Get Fresh Programme scheme that revamped store layouts to expand areas dedicated to fruits and vegetables, something that has been a challenge in the past for smaller discount retailers.
Lidl, now the sixth biggest supermarket chain in the UK, says it wants to boost sales of “healthy and healthier products” by 85% over the next three years. That would be quite an accomplishment, building on recent success and expanded footprints to not just give British customers more for less, but more healthful selections.
“Our business model is built for the long term and I’m incredibly proud of our continued growth in recent months, which builds on our strong performance across 2021,” McDonnell said. “During this time, we’ve made further investments across all areas of our business, building even more stores and distribution centres, hiring more colleagues, increasing pay rates, investing in our British supplier base and contributing to the communities we operate in.”
Lidl also has begun its own test pilot called the “Fruit & Veg on Prescription” project that it hopes can help solve food hunger and foster more healthy outcomes.”
*This article is excerpted from producebusinessuk.com, published 22nd November 2022