While the German discounter, which has continued to 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 banking on shock promotional offers to attract new customers to his 1,600 supermarkets.
After years of growth, Lidl seems to be on pause…
THIAGO ALMEIDA. I wouldn’t call it a pause, but we were used to strong growth, and it is true that inflation affects everyone. Our customers in particular, since they are often more vulnerable from an economic point of view, and therefore always looking for the best price. This is why we need to support them, with unbeatable offers. In recent years, we have worked a lot on our image, and it has worked, since 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.
That’s to say ?
For several years, we have managed to democratize our kitchen robot, which we have sold more than 1.5 million copies in France. While in December, people want to treat themselves, we have decided to fully reimburse the 100,000 Monsieur Cuisine Smart that we will market between December 4 and 11, upon presentation of the Lidl Plus app.
How will this promotion work?
Our customers, who will pay 360 euros to acquire a Monsieur Cuisine Smart, will receive for 12 months, from January 2024, a coupon of 30 euros each month, to spend in supermarkets (with no minimum purchase). As 30 euros is approximately the average purchase ticket at Lidl, this means that once a month these customers will shop for free with us. In terms of generosity, this offer is simply unbeatable.
You are also launching an operation on vouchers, what is it 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 its launch, this application already has 10 million customers! And then, we will put a coupon in each of our 10 million leaflets distributed. These vouchers can be used from 50 euros of purchase. Furthermore, if you are a Lidl Plus holder, and you have received a prospectus, you will be able to 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, studies show that Lidl’s price image has deteriorated in 2023…
We have noticed this, which is why it is our responsibility to clarify things, and to make it known that we have the best quality-price ratio.
In May, you launched the Lidl.fr site, which exclusively sells non-food items. What initial assessment do you draw from it today?
We are already 7th in terms of attendance in France, behind the top three – Amazon, Leboncoin and Booking. Here again, the result is well beyond our expectations, this shows that there was a real need.
However, the sales of Parkside (DIY) items on your site are rather disappointing. Some Internet users also find the delivery costs too high.
As for DIY, it must be noted that after the Covid years, the entire sector is showing lower results. As for delivery prices, we are currently carrying out tests with free delivery for users of the Lidl Plus app. We are new to the e-commerce sector, we will learn from these tests. One thing is certain: the success of this site leads us to believe that there is still great potential.
Do you still rule out selling food products on the app?
Once again, we must adapt to the needs of our customers. This is why we exclude nothing. We look, we think. But when we see the potential of this site, it’s true, we say to ourselves “food, why not, after all?” »