Lidl UK to expand
Discount chain Lidl is set to expand into new markets with its small format express stores, and looks to mop up sites in the aftermath of Woolworths collapse
6 January 2009 | 0
Lidl has announced that it will continue its expansion in the UK in 2009. Its aim will be achieved through opportunities provided by the closure of other retail businesses, which will furnish the discounter with ready sites.
Speaking to the UK press, midlands regional director for Lidl, Martin Bailie expressed the company’s delight at the emerging availability of sites throughout the last financial year, specifically Somerfield and now, Woolworths stores, following the collapse of the latter company at Christmas time.
Bailie revealed that Lidl will also this year be gaining ground in previously unavailable territory using its smaller store format. In 2008 the discounter opened 10 smaller stores with a footprint of 200 to 500 sq m, as part of a long-term strategy to open the brand up to a wider audience. According to Bailie the company aims to launch another 10 in 2009.
In addition to increasing numbers of its small format stores, Lidl also intends to broaden its customer base through improvements to its ranges and increased brand awareness. The discounter is to introduce a “deluxe premium range” in January to cater to increasing numbers of ABC1 customers, and it will extend its range to an optimum of 2,000 SKUs, according to the midlands regional director.