First Look: Lidl Lands in the U.S.https://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Lidl-US.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
If you haven’t heard, Lidl has landed. The German discount supermarket chain is the fifth-largest retailer in the world with 10,000 stores in 27 countries across Europe. Now, the brand has made its way stateside, putting some serious pressure on the already competitive grocery market. With a commitment to “rethink grocery,” the brand balances focus on high-quality products, convenience, and value. How do they do it?
With 20,000 square feet of selling space Lidl maintains a much smaller footprint than an average grocery store. Products are curated to offer the best of the best at the lowest prices instead of an endless selection. 90% of the products are Lidl’s private label brands at prices 50% less than traditional grocery stores, while 85% are sourced locally from surrounding communities where the store is located to ensure freshness and quality. Weekly offers, and non-food items rotating twice a week encourage repeat visits.
Stores have the same intuitive layout in every location, so no matter where you are you know where to find what you’re looking for. Embracing a no-frills approach, products are displayed in their original delivery cartons. When the carton is empty, it’s simply replaced with a full one. Staffing is minimal to increase profit while maintaining low prices, and they eliminate unnecessary expenses by encouraging shoppers to bring their own bags. So now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look inside their Winston-Salem, North Carolina location.
The ample use of brick and glass façade resembled more of a corporate office feel than a local grocer, but entering the vestibule you were clear on the brand’s message. Vibrant graphics clearly emphasized a fresh appeal, while promotional campaigns for the brand’s Fresh 5 offer were integrated into the carts.
A prominent bright green can be seen throughout the space with pops of red sale signage reinforcing the brands value strategy. Lifestyle graphics and illustrative visuals of produce tie together the contrasting elements. Low, tiered fixturing with plastic and cardboard crates used to display merchandise create an open farmer’s market feel.
A large graphic entry wall describing the brand’s promise sets the tone for the shopping experience, while simple signage is complimented by a friendly, playful tone of voice and iconography. Vibrant color blocking of product helped to delineate between categories and aided in wayfinding.
Low-height, modern floor coffins allowed for unobstructed sightlines from the meat and seafood section to the center store. Curved cooler doors reflected European design aesthetic. Sustainability messaging of sourcing and certification was prominently displayed to communicate high quality of products.
A central run of drop-bin fixtures creates a consistent home for seasonal and rotating merchandise. Every Monday and Thursday new items ranging from t-shirts to spatulas are Lidl “Surprises” for the shopper.
Unique to the overall store design, the upscale wine area served as an educational opportunity for both connoisseurs and the curious novice. Color-coded communications offered a sense of discovery and helped to segregate the wine into categories. Further emphasizing the brand’s high standards, all of the wines are curated by a “Master of Wine,” a prestigious title that fewer than 50 people in the U.S. hold.
Impulse merchandise stacked in front of each of the nine checkouts give shoppers one last chance to buy. A queuing system signaled by a chime tells shoppers when there’s an open lane where they will then find dual conveyor belts to ensure purchases don’t get mixed with another shopper’s items.
The brand has already announced an aggressive 20-store rollout this year alone with 80 stores to follow in 2018. With an agile approach to the market Lidl plans to use the 100-store implementation as a test to learn and adapt.