Shopping at Lidl to pick up a few bargains and some different products made an interesting alternative to just shopping at Waitrose. Then it changed. In Lidl I saw Magnum bars which were very expensive compared to their rather bland looking own brand. I resisted price temptation and went to Waitrose. They were selling Magnum’s at a much lower price than Lidl. In fact so were Tesco and Sainsbury’s too. So is this how Lidl make their own brand product prices look low compared to competitors? My trust in Lidl was dented.
Are Lidl products really like brands but cheaper?
In the Grocer’s own label food and drink awards Lidl won 33 awards. Impressive, but they entered 108 products while Waitrose entered two. So two thirds of the products that Lidl entered did not win any awards and hardly any of the 108 were up against the two from Waitrose or the 5 that M&S entered. Lidl of course made a big deal of winning so many awards. This type of activity does not invoke customer trust.
How can Lidl and Aldi have some of the highest margins in the sector?
Can they really be smarter at negotiating prices with suppliers than big UK retailers? I find that hard to imagine. So this raises another question about comparable product quality. How can a whole raft of brands that we have never heard of be as good or better than established brands? I don’t know the answer but the trust level in Lidl continues to decline.
Of course when confidence is dented more reasons to distrust a company come to the fore. Talking to more regular Lidl shoppers they complain that the highly advertised quality products go out of stock very quickly because they have so few in each store. Their trust is dented too.
So it’s back to trusted Waitrose.