Consumers know what to expect from hard discounters: minimal selection, bare merchandising and, of course, rock-bottom prices.
But what happens when a hard discounter starts to look suspiciously like a soft discounter?
If you’re Germany’s Lidl, traffic and sales go up.
Lidls in Western Europe are adding some very un-hard-discount-like features such as in-store bakeries and wider fresh food ranges, says Euromonitor analyst Mylan Nguyen, in an article posted on the research company’s blog site.
Over Christmas, British shoppers who ventured into Lidl found reindeer leg steaks, scallops and quail and other indulgent fare.
“Lidl’s shift toward soft discounting should boost its store visit frequency,” Nguyen writes. “If consumers are able to find all they need at the discounter, they will be more likely to use Lidl as a one-stop-shop rather than a top-up store, as has been the case historically.
Other hard discounters are going soft as well. Dia, for instance, has opened DiaFresh stores in France and Spain. And Germany’s Aldi is touting its health proposition to consumers.
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