Lidl US announced its stores’ upgraded ventilation system will add a new layer of protection for customers and employees. The discounter will install hospital grade air filters in all its US stores by the end of 2020 to help it attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Providing a safer in-store environment
Following the announcement issued by the US’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through the air, Lidl announced it will install new, more efficient air filtration systems in its stores. The new air filters are rated MERV 13 or higher and are usually found in hospitals. The rating means filters are designed to catch small airborne particles, including those that could potentially transmit the virus.
Johannes Fieber, Lidl US’s CEO, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to protect the health of everyone in our stores by meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines and this measure to create cleaner, healthier air is no different. Customers and team members in Lidl stores can breathe easier knowing we have an added layer of protection against COVID-19.”
The announcement has been positively received by Governors in states where Lidl operates, with many praising the retailer for its proactive response and commitment to keep customers and employees safe.
Using hygiene and safety as a brand differentiator
While the type of filter is not yet widely used by retailers, other industries including restaurants and theatres are starting to install them. Lidl is one of the first retailers to install them in its store. The step aligns with its strategy of focusing on its physical stores to create differentiation with others. It also underlines how discounters are no longer slow to react and are innovating and reacting faster than ever, sometimes ahead of other major retailers.
Ensuring employees and customers have a safe place to work and shop is a priority for retailers currently. More insights are available for RA subscribers in our latest report on how retailers are shifting their strategies in the post COVID-19 world.