Lidl has revealed its new store concept: with a minimalist layout, the retailer is focusing more strongly on price-conscious shoppers again. Productivity on the floor also needs to increase, the discounter says.
In recently converted Lidl stores in Germany, the beautiful wine aisle has once again given way to a “normal” shop rack. The fruit and vegetable department also looks more austere, as does the drugstore aisle. The various departments are indicated by simple signs in black and white. Promotions are more prominently advertised and there will also be more self-scanning checkouts. The new approach is remarkable, because Lidl has focused on a more qualitative image in recent years, with a wider range presented in nicer furniture.
With the downsized layout, Lidl aims to address two major challenges, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports. First, Lidl sees Aldi recording stronger growth figures on its home market, especially with its Aldi Süd division. Therefore, the challenger wants to attract price-conscious customers again with a more pronounced discount image. Discount customers do not need frills, they appreciate an uncluttered store image and a limited assortment. In recent years, Lidl had started to emulate big supermarket chains like Edeka more, but now Aldi seems to be the big rival again.
Second, the nicer store fittings also caused higher costs. Employees had complained that some furniture – for example in the fruit and vegetable department – involved more work when restocking. The turn Lidl is now making was prompted by German top executive Christian Härtnagel, who previously made a similar efficiency exercise as boss of the discounter in the United Kingdom.