How Lidl has adapted to COVID-19

Date : 30 October 2020

We look at four ways Lidl has adapted its operations and global strategy since the start of the pandemic.

Creating a safer in-store environment

Most retailers, including Lidl, have had to adapt their stores to the new social distancing measures, and create safer environments for employees and shoppers. Across Europe and the US most of Lidl’s 11,200 stores have been equipped with plexiglass shields on the checkouts. Safety equipment (face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer) was also provided to all employees.

In several countries including France and Switzerland, automated traffic light systems have been implemented at the entrances of stores to control the customer flow. In the US, Lidl was the first retailer to announce it will install hospital grade air filters at all its stores. More self-checkouts are also being implemented, especially in newly opened stores, which will help to reduce waiting times and congestion in the checkout area.

Source: IGD Research


Focus on low prices and delivering extra value to shoppers

Due to COVID-19’s negative impact on the economy and employment, shoppers are becoming savvier and are increasingly looking for value. Many retailers have reacted by lowering their prices and increasing the number of promotions. In response to this, Lidl has invested in various areas to remain the leader of low prices, ahead of its competitors:

  • Focus on the “Lidl Price” campaign across Europe to strengthen the low prices image, including promotional offers on branded and private label products. In-store fixtures displaying products on offer are now clearly signposted
  • More “XXL” promotional campaigns contributing to deliver greater value to shoppers thanks to deals on larger pack sizes
  • The Lidl Plus app providing instant price reductions on private labels. The pandemic has accelerated the roll out of its loyalty programme across Europe. As of October 2020, it is available in 17 countries.
Source: IGD Research 


Strengthening its local positioning  

In many markets Lidl has reached out to local suppliers impacted by the closure of hospitality businesses. What was initially a short-term solution to support local economies and businesses is now moving towards long-term partnerships for successful products. This is also aligned with the growing demand from shoppers for locally sourced products and will enable Lidl to create a more relevant assortment.

Bespoke campaigns and dedicated webpages have been launched in many countries including Sweden, Switzerland, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, leading to the listing of dozens of new products. Increasingly the local origin of products is being clearly displayed on the different private label products’ packaging, especially for chilled food.

Source: Lidl


Driving in-store footfall

The physical store remains Lidl’s strongest asset as the business is yet to offer grocery ecommerce. It is therefore paramount for it to find ways to drive footfall in its stores to grow sales. Soon after the first lockdown measures ended, Lidl used some key non-grocery products, such as the food processor Monsieur Cuisine and its own-brand sneakers to drive shoppers back in stores. The success of these campaigns was due to the value and the limited quantities available.

For grocery products, Lidl has run limited time promotions, such as its Italian and Scandinavian product weeks. These events helped to drive frequency. In Slovakia, Lidl has just relaunched its 90s themed campaign for a limited time, with more than 90 grocery products that were highly popular during that decade.

Source: Lidl


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