While the German discounter, which has made progress in recent years, shows a – slight – decline in terms of market share (from 7.4% to 7.1% in one year), the new operational boss, Thiago Almeida, is confident on shocking promotional offers to attract new customers to its nearly 1,700 supermarkets.
After years of growth, Lidl seems to be on pause…
THIAGO ALMEIDA. I wouldn’t call it a lull, but we were used to strong growth, and it’s true that inflation affects everyone. Our customers in particular, because they are often more vulnerable from an economic point of view and are therefore always looking for the best price. That’s why we must support them with unbeatable offers. In recent years we have worked a lot on our image, and it has worked, as 60% of people come to us regularly. My new goal is clear: for Lidl to become the number one choice for its customers. Hence this unique promotional campaign.
Which means ?
In recent years we have managed to democratize our kitchen robot, of which we have sold more than 1.5 million units in France. While people want to treat themselves in December, we have decided to fully reimburse the 100,000 Monsieur Cuisine Smart that we put on the market between December 4 and 11, upon presentation of the Lidl Plus app.
How does this promotion work?
Our customers, who pay 360 euros to purchase a Monsieur Cuisine Smart, will receive a coupon of 30 euros per month for 12 months from January 2024, to spend in supermarkets (without minimum purchase). Because 30 euros is approximately the average purchase price at Lidl, this means that these customers shop with us once a month for free. In terms of generosity, this offer is simply unbeatable.
You are also launching a campaign around vouchers, what is that about?
From December 6 to 12, we will distribute 100 million euros in the form of 5 euro reduction vouchers. All our customers who have downloaded Lidl Plus will automatically receive one – just 22 months after launch, this application already has 10 million customers! And then we put a coupon in each of our 10 million distributed flyers. These vouchers can be used from a purchase of 50 euros. Furthermore, if you are a Lidl Plus holder and have received a prospectus, you can take advantage of these offers, but during two separate purchases. We want to show how much better we are when it comes to prices.
However, research shows that Lidl’s price image will have deteriorated in 2023…
We have noticed this and it is therefore our responsibility to clarify matters and make it known that we have the best price-quality ratio.
In May you launched the Lidl.fr site, which sells exclusively non-food items. What first judgment do you draw today?
We are already 7th in terms of visitor numbers in France, behind the top three – Amazon, Leboncoin and Booking. Here too, the result far exceeds our expectations; it shows that there was a real need.
However, sales of Parkside (DIY) items on your site are quite disappointing. Some internet users also find the delivery costs too high.
As for DIY, it should be noted that after the Covid years, the entire sector is showing lower results. Regarding delivery prices, we are currently testing free delivery for Lidl Plus app users. We are new to the e-commerce sector, we will learn from these tests. One thing is certain: the success of this site makes us believe that there is still great potential.
Do you still exclude the sale of food products via the app?
Once again we have to adapt to the needs of our customers. That is why we do not rule anything out. We look, we think. But when we see the potential of this site, it’s true, we say to ourselves: “Food, why not?” »