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At the beginning of this year, LIDL presented the new image campaign Faster Better Cheaper. What retailer says:
„In the advertising campaign, the retail chain LIDL not only speaks about the problems the buyers face, but also about how LIDL solves them. Here it is possible to buy faster, better, cheaper because the layout of LIDL stores are very simple, carefully selected good quality products are waiting, there are especially high requirements for product quality, modern solutions and effective internal processes applied in stores are shortening purchasing time and helping to save money.”
In a few words, another retail chain beside the other, which thinks about everything consumer needs, but does only what is good only for its sales. So Pricer.LT decided to compare LIDL offer in general ant evaluate if it is really “worth living that way” (this is LIDL slogan in Lithuania).
We will start from “Cheaper”. It will not take much time. 3 years of Pricer.LT monitoring of retail chains’ cheap product basket shows that LIDL is not cheaper.!/vizhome/PIGIAUSIMAISTOPREKIKREPELIOKAINREITINGAS/Pigiausimaistoprekikrepeliokainreitingas
In 3 years, in the cheapest products, LIDL was the cheapest only 2 times. So, LIDL is not cheaper but “maybe sometimes cheaper if you are lucky”.
There are fewer questions about Faster and “LIDL labyrinth” (post from LIDL Lietuva Facebook page supporting new campaign – In 2016 we imagined labyrinth in store like that, and today we imagine it the same. Everything is simple when you buy in LIDL – here is faster, better, cheaper):

And yes, it is like that. The store layout is clear, simple and with small exceptions it is the same in all stores. (Store layout from LIDL adds).

There are a little more problems with “Better”. LIDL shows that they selected the best and the customer does not need to waste time by selecting between lots of alternatives.
The biggest pressure from the campaign goes on milk.

Surely milk is a very narrow category in LIDL. If we do not count vegetarian alternative milk and “Made in Lithuania” private label products – there are only 8 products (6 products in a cooler and 2 products on the dry shelves). Other retailers have 5-6 times more milk SKUs.
But where is the catch? It is in yogurts and milk desserts. There are more than 100 different yogurts and desserts on the LIDL shelves – 10 times more than milk.
What can we say? It looks like making an offer in a store to force consumer to pay less attention to basic milk products and to buy more processed milk products with sugar, with bigger added value.
And Pricer.LT noticed that LIDL has special relationship with sugar goods – in the permanent assortment, LIDL has about 2 500 SKUs (without fruits and vegetables and limited time offers). “Sugar” categories in SKUs look approximately as follows:
Yogurts                                       – 103
Curd desserts                               – 29 (basic cottage cheese only approx. 10 SKUs on top)
Ice cream                                      – 68
Chocolates                                    – 97
Candies                                        – 47
Cookies                                        – 80
Cereals                                        – 27 (only about 9 SKUs without sweet content on top)
Honey, jam, spreads                    – 21
Juices, nectars, juice drinks         – 50
Soft drinks                                    – 35 (simple and mineral water approx.13 SKUs on top)
Sweet bake off                             – 25
Without products in the cash register zone (here will be also not less than 20 SKUs sweet stuff) we counted 582 sweet products – 23%, i.e. almost a quarter of all food assortment.
We have this situation on the LIDL shelves but maybe LIDL stresses on other products in their weekly adds.
Let’s check a weekly leaflet:

We will not take into account the limited time assortment from American Dream and from 100 food items offers (it means special prices and discounts – under them could be several SKUs) – almost 30 of them are “sugared” and there is one very wide – discount on all Fin Carre chocolates:

It seems that with narrow basic product offer LIDL is pushing their customer towards products with bigger amount of sugar. LIDL is doing this by using the store layout – customers enter LIDL store through sweet bake off and chocolate-candies-cookies shelves (surely there are fruit and vegetables stands but they work not only for sale but also as a brake to stop customer near the sweet shelves), narrow basic milk is only after a long line of yogurts and other milk desserts, and by making promotional mix with 30% sweet goods. That’s why we will expand the idea from LIDL Lietuva comics from the latest LIDL image campaign (post from LIDL Lietuva Facebook page. The text on top says – “Sometimes it is better to find not hundreds of sorts of the same product but a few just very good ones. LIDL assortment is already selected so you will not waste time more than you need in store. Mother says – While I select milk… Daughter: … I will not want cereals anymore):

What we can add: – Do not worry, my daughter, the risk to get diabetes will be less …
It looks like LIDL, by stressing on their weak points and showing them as advantages, wants to attract consumers to stores in order to put in their basket what retail chain needs. It is not new in retail. But in case of LIDL the customer will come to the LIDL store for fast, good, cheap (smart) purchase but most probably he will finish his shopping with the basket by 1/3 filled with “sugared” products. We will look for correlation between changes of LIDL market share and obesity and diabetes dynamics in country later.
Pricer.LT is not saying that other retail chains are better but LIDL new SMART BUY image advertising campaign is not what retail chain really offers to his customers. Who can deny that retail chain with ”sugar” products in quarter of assortment and keeping their share 30% in food products promotion, is doing it without the purpose to make his customer addicted to sugar and in such way increase loyalty (after shopping in LIDL he will get higher level of sugar in blood – nice isn’t it)?
Sounds a little bit crazy, but just in case, before going to the cash register in LIDL, check the level of sugar… in your shopping cart.
More information:
Pricer.LT food division manager
Petras Čepkauskas
Tel.: 868512156
[email protected]

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