Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, or Lidl as it is more often known, is a German supermarket chain with stores across both Europe and the US. The supermarket is particularly known for offering discounts and value items, putting it in direct competition with fellow discount supermarket chain Aldi. The range of products they sell is wide and diverse, with clothing, toys, tools, home accessories and other items available together with food and drink. However, they are predominantly known as a supermarket that sell dairy products such as cheeses, milk yoghurts and meat, vegetables, fruit and tinned goods. They also have a large freezer section where customers can get frozen produce and delicious ready meals.
Lidl has a no-frills strategy, cutting on costs in a variety of ways so that the customer receives the same quality product but benefits from savings. One example of this is by leaving many products in their original delivery crates for customers to take from; this reduces staffing costs as the crate can just be replaced once empty.
Lidl has expanded from a single store in Ludwigshafen, and now has a presence in 27 countries with over 10,000 stores. The supermarket chain has a store in almost every country within the European Union, as well as Serbia, Switzerland and the US. In the UK, there are over 630 stores all over the country, having a presence in more than 430 cities.
Other than occasions such as New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day and bank holidays, Lidl opening times will be dependent upon the location. It’s therefore advisable to check with your local Lidl store’s opening hours before setting out to do the groceries. However, as a rough rule of thumb, Lidl opening times are between 8am-10pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. If you want to find the specific opening times of a Lidl establishment near you, it is best to use the branch locator tool at opening-times.co.uk. This free and simple tool finds accurate Lidl opening times of any establishment instead of relying on outdated information on search engines and social media.
Although Lidl are one of the newcomers to the supermarket industry in the UK, in a short space of time they’ve managed to carve out a real niche for themselves. Although they have a reputation for selling cheaper items, they are more than simply a cut-price discount store:
Low-cost gourmet foods prepared and shipped in from Europe are a particular speciality of Lidl, but they offer more than new brands to explore. All of their stores are committed to local produce and they try to use local suppliers wherever possible. Not only does this help their pledge to be as eco-friendly as possible, it also helps to keep prices low.
Aside from their groceries, Lidl are well-known for what is often referred to as their “middle aisle” goods. This refers to the long areas which run down the centre of every store which don’t contain food or drinks. Instead, a variety of items on special offer are sold at heavily discounted prices. The turnover on these goods is rapid and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Items such as tools, sewing machines, toys, garden equipment and decorative items can all be found here.
Lidl began with a single store in Germany, in a town just south of Frankfurt, Ludwigshafen in 1973. With 500 products on offer and a staff of just three, this humble beginning was soon to become a huge success. After opening 300 other stores across Germany, by the 1990s, the company started moving into other European countries, including the UK in 1994. By the 2000s, Lidl had established itself as one of the leading contenders in the market and in 2017 crossed the Atlantic to the US.
Despite their rapid success and huge success over the last few decades, Lidl isn’t content to rest just yet. The chain still has ambitious plans to expand further, reaching new countries that it doesn’t yet have a presence in, as well as increasing the number of stores in existing countries. It is believed that within the UK, Lidl hopes to ultimately achieve more than 1500 stores, more than double the current number.