Lidl commenced trading in the UK in 1994 and currently has over 600 stores trading nationwide.
The Lidl retail philosophy centres on simplicity and maximum efficiency at every stage of the business, from supplier to consumer, enabling the company to sell high quality products from a limited range of exclusive own brand and well-known labels at the lowest prices.
It has historically been argued that Lidl could have an adverse impact upon existing town centres, but findings of the Competition Commission confirm that Lidl provides a different offer to the main food retailers.
In addition, the Competition Commission states that deep discounters or ‘Limited Assortment Discounters’, such as Lidl do not impact to any significant degree upon larger food retailers. This is supported by the numerous examples across the UK, where Lidl trade alongside local convenience stores and retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Iceland and Tesco. This has also been acknowledged by the Secretary of State and Planning Inspectors in their decisions following public inquiries into Lidl schemes. The Inspector, in a case in New Addington, Croydon (decision date 2nd June 2008) noted the significant expenditure leakage from the area and the benefits a Lidl store would provide in terms of reversing this:
Although the proposal would take some turnover from the District Centre, it would also facilitate the retention of expenditure in the area to the benefit of the District Centre… I therefore conclude that on balance the proposal would not be harmful to the vitality and viability of New Addington District Centre”.
In another recent appeal (Braintree 22 January 2008) the Inspector concluded that:
…the appeal proposal would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the town centre or any other centre in terms of retail impact.”
In a very recent appeal decision (Uxbridge 29 February 2012) the Inspector concluded that:
The principle that Lidl and other similar retailers present a different retail offering to the conventional supermarkets is well established, but this offering also differs to that of local convenience stores… Overall I am satisfied that the impact on trade within the nearby centres would be low.”
Recent Lidl Projects