ACCORDING to the latest research from Which?, “both Aldi and Lidl outperformed the ‘big four’ supermarkets – Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – again this year”.
The consumer expert said it’s “unsurprising at a time when value has become so important to shoppers”.
But how do Aldi and Lidl keep prices so low? In a former Channel 5 documentary titled Aldi Vs Lidl: Supermarket Wars, which is now available on YouTube, retail experts lifted the lid on the two German up-starts tactics to ensure products are as cheap as chips.
The narrator said Aldi and Lidl’s “success is clearly visible” and Natalie Berg, a retail expert explained: “Aldi [and Lidl are] about simplicity and ruthless efficiency.
“It’s substance over style; products are displayed in cardboard boxes, or left on the pallets themselves so they can take the products right from the lorry and place them right onto the shelves.
“Staff can quickly stock the shelves and get on with other tasks.”
Gordon D’Andilly, a former Aldi employee added: “When you work for Aldi, you work in all parts of the store.
“I was my own cash office person, I was my own replenishment assistant, my own warehouse driver, my own cardboard bailer, my own customer services guy – you did absolutely everything.”
The staff work incredibly hard in Aldi and Lidl, but have you ever noticed there are very few of them? This means staff costs are much lower compared to bigger supermarkets that employ hundreds in each store.
Harry Wallop, a consumer journalist, also revealed another key difference between the big supermarkets and the discount stores.
He said: “Somewhere like Tesco will offer you as many as 30 different types of Ketchup, Aldi or Lidl, it’s probably one or two.
“If you’re only offering one or two of a product, you can demand far better prices from the supplier and it’s less complicated – fewer members of staff to stack the shelves, so for the customer, it’s a lower cost.”
At Aldi, every stop along the customer’s journey is designed with money-saving in mind; from how goods are packaged to how they’re paid for.
Natalie continued: “Aldi products have multiple barcodes so the cashiers can quickly scan the products and they fly through the tills.
“The other way they help to keep things efficient is they have a relatively small packing areato the cashier, so shoppers put their shopping back into their trolleys and take them to the front of the store where they can pack their own bags.”
The middle aisle of Lidl and Aldi is an opportunity for shoppers to pick up some weird and wonderful items.[/caption]
Natalie revealed the tactics Aldi and Lidl use to keep prices so low in a Channel 5 documentary.[/caption]
The German discounters have also come up with other methods of capturing shoppers’ attention, including one distinct layout feature; Aldi Specialbuys and Middle of Lidl where customers can pick up non-food deals and offers.
Shoppers walk in every week excited to see what’s in the middle aisle of the shop; from inflatable canoes to winter socks.
“You can get an absurd number of different things in the middle aisle,” Harry added. “I’ve seen camping stoves, riding kit, garden gnomes, you name it, they’ve probably sold it.”
Natalie added: “The thrill of going in for milk and coming out with an inflatable is exciting for customers.”
As well as being unpredictable, the goods on sale in this part of the stores are ever-changing – and “when it’s gone, it’s gone”.
Simple but clever, the tactic helps bring customers back again, and again.
If you’re looking to spruce up your home this autumn, consider Aldi’s soft pumpkin cushion that are great for Halloween decorations too – and at £4.99 they’re selling quick.
If Halloween isn’t your thing, and you’re more of a Christmas person, Aldi’s festive menu has been revealed.
Lidl, on the other hand, is selling the iconic chocolate boxes loved at Christmas for £3.99 including Quality Streets.