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Lidl GB has been crowned the UK’s Best Value Retailer at this year’s Retail Week Awards, after being recognised for its continued efforts to keep its prices low whilst paying attention to its wider social obligations and sustainability.
The grocer, which beat off competition from Aldi, Poundland and Matalan, was applauded for its commitment to corporate responsibility and challenging misconceptions that lean discount models were not compatible with being sustainable.
The judges commented that the retailer has “shifted up a few gears”and that “not only is it growing, but it is doing good at the same time.” One judge also commented that “Lidl delivers for customers while improving innovation and quality products.”
Since opening its first stores in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced unprecedented growth across the country, responding to the rapidly rising demand for its low-price-high-quality offering. As a result, Lidl now has 760 stores and 13 warehouses in England, Scotland and Wales, with plans to open a further 50 new stores this year.
Amidst this rapid growth, social responsibility and sustainability remain a focal point of Lidl’s daily operations. In 2015 the discounter became the first British supermarket to adopt the Living Wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, investing millions in pay rises. More recently, Lidl led the way in plastic reduction by announcing a trial to remove its 9p reusable plastic bags, after seeing that it was contributing to plastic waste. And in 2018, the grocer was one of the first retailers to publish its food waste data, whilst committing to the Sustainable Development Goal target of a 30% reduction by 2030. Its efforts have been helped by its surplus food waste redistribution programme, Feed it Back, which has connected all of its stores to local good causes, along with the industry-leading launch of its Too Good to Waste boxes, which other retailers are now beginning to adopt.
Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, commented: “Value and quality are truly at the heart of everything we do, and this brilliant award strongly reflects our business principles, reinforcing that low prices don’t mean having to compromise on the things that our customers really care about. It’s more important now than ever that we act responsibly and contribute positively to the communities that we are a part of, so that we can continue to make good food accessible and affordable to everyone.
The boxes, which contain 5kg of fruit and veg for just £1.50, are now available in all Lidl GB stores following a successful trial.
Differing from wonky veg, Lidl’s boxes are filled with fruit and veg from stores, which have become slightly damaged, discoloured or deteriorated, but are still perfectly good to eat.
The initiative, which is an industry first, is designed to reduce fruit and veg waste in store, and has already eliminated 250 tonnes of food waste
20th March 2019: Lidl has announced that it is rolling out its ‘Too Good To Waste’ fruit and vegetable boxes across all of its stores in England, Scotland and Wales, following a successful, industry-first trial.*
The boxes, priced at just £1.50 for approximately 5kg, contain fruit and vegetables from the store shelves, which have become slightly damaged, discoloured or deteriorated, but are still perfectly good to eat. They are put together daily by the discounter’s dedicated in-store Freshness Specialists, and are available to customers from opening until midday, at which point, any leftover boxes are given to local good causes through Lidl’s surplus food redistribution programme, Feed it Back.
Different from ‘Wonky Veg’ boxes, sold by other supermarkets, the initiative is designed to reduce fruit and veg waste in store. Instead of pricing down produce that is considered ‘wonky’, Lidl works closely with its suppliers to ensure a degree of flexibility with specifications at different times of the year, to include items within its standard product lines.
Through the trial, which was launched in August and gradually extended to 122 stores, Lidl has:
Sold more than 50,000 Too Good To Waste boxesPrevented 250 tonnes of food going to waste.
The national roll-out could save thousands of tonnes of usable product from going to waste each year.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO Lidl GB, said: “The positive feedback that we have received off the back of our trial has been incredible; from our colleagues who are showing so much passion for them, to our customers who were getting in touch from the get go asking where they could get one. We’re therefore really excited to be rolling the boxes out to all of our stores nationwide, and we’re really pleased to see that it’s also starting to be adopted by other supermarkets.
“The really brilliant thing about this initiative is that, not only is it helping to tackle the highly important challenge of food waste, it’s also helping our customers make even more savings. Additionally, it’s a great example of how we, as discounter, can utilise our lean and efficient business model to fulfil our mission to make good, healthy food more affordable and accessible, whilst acting sustainably.”
Lidl’s ‘Too Good To Waste’ initiative represents one of the discounter’s latest efforts to reduce food waste across its supply chain. In 2017, Lidl committed to cutting food waste by 25% per store by 2020 and has underlined this further by committing to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) 12.3 target of 50% by 2030.
Last year, the supermarket also completed the national roll-out of its food redistribution programme, ‘Feed it Back’, connecting stores with local good causes in partnership with the giving platform Neighbourly, enabling them to collect quality food surplus from the supermarket and putting it to good use.
In addition, it was announced this week that Lidl is taking over Tough Mudder’s children's event and renaming it ‘Lidl Mudder’. Lidl’s takeover of the famous obstacle course is all part of the supermarket's ongoing commitment to helping families enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The obstacle course will be touring the UK as part of Tough Mudder events, as well as at festivals, county shows and city centres between May and September.
*subject to availability
- Lidl has created 400 new jobs with the opening of its latest distribution centre
- The warehouse is the supermarket’s 13th in Great Britain and biggest to date
- The new centre represents a £70m investment in Lidl’s expansion and logistics
- It will service 53 stores across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands, with this number expected to rise in the coming months
- Lidl has opened three new warehouses in the past two years, and has plans for a further four to open by 2025
31 January 2019: Lidl UK has today announced the opening of its latest Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), located at iPort in Doncaster, providing a major boost to the local economy through the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
The warehouse, which represents a £70m investment in Lidl’s expansion and logistics, will initially provide support to 53 Lidl stores across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands, with this number expected to grow.
Earlier this month, Lidl opened a new store in neighbouring Rossington, and has plans to open four further stores, in Rotherham, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Mapplewell by the end of 2019.
At 58,000m², the distribution centre is the supermarket’s biggest to date, with 3,900 pallets of products projected to pass through the premises every day.
Tsvetelina Butrakova, Lidl UK Regional Director for Doncaster, said: “We’re extremely excited to mark the start of the year with the opening of our Doncaster distribution centre, which plays an essential role in enabling us to meet growing customer demand for Lidl products.
“The centre also underlines our commitment to creating more job opportunities, and I am so incredibly proud of the team that we have here in Doncaster and across our stores, whose hard work and dedication has enabled us to get where we are today”.
Employees at the warehouse and store will benefit from an increase in pay, after the supermarket announced that it would once again match the voluntary Living Wage rate, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. The new salaries of £9.00 per hour, increased from £8.75, will come into effect from 1st March 2019 and will be 10% higher than the Government’s ‘National Living Wage’. Employees will also receive a comprehensive benefits package including company pension scheme, employee discount and an enhanced holiday entitlement.
Lidl opened its first British-based RDC in 1994 in Lutterworth and currently has warehouses in 12 other locations up and down the country, including Southampton, Northfleet, Enfield, Belvedere, Bridgend, Livingston, Lutterworth, Avonmouth, Newton Aycliffe, Wednesbury, Exeter and Runcorn.
The warehouse is Lidl’s third to open in the past two years, with plans for four further regional distribution centres to open by 2025, along with the relocation of its Livingston warehouse to Eurocentral, near Motherwell. The investment underlines the supermarket’s commitment to the sustainable growth of the business, both in the region and across the rest of Great Britain.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to growing customer demand, with an existing store portfolio of 740 and plans to open more than 50 new stores a year.
- Sales of Lidl’s premium Deluxe range were up 33% year-on-year, while its beers, wines and spirits range was fastest growing in the market with an 18% increase
- The supermarket experienced a year-on-year sales increase of 8% in the Christmas trading period
- Customers switched over £58m of spend from Waitrose, M&S and the big four over the festive period
- The discounter also launched a Christmas dinner donation scheme to help charities tackle loneliness, donating 3k meals
London, 11 January 2019: Lidl UK (“Lidl”) experienced a 33% increase in year-on-year (YOY) sales for its premium product range, Deluxe, this Christmas, with customers switching £58m of spend from Waitrose, M&S and the big four, over to the discounter.
After winning Gold at the Quality Food Awards, the supermarket’s Deluxe Large Broadland Free Range Bronze Turkey performed particularly well, with sales increasing by more than 100% YOY. At just £3.95 per kg, the discounter’s Birchwood Farm Turkey also offered customers the best value whole fresh British turkey this Christmas, contributing to an overall increase of 18% in turkey sales.
Other best-selling products from the Deluxe range, which offers shoppers high quality products at market-leading prices, were:
- Deluxe Hand Cooked Crisps
- Deluxe Luxury Mince Pies
- Deluxe Brioche Burger Buns
Sales across the estate in the 6 weeks to 30th December were up 8% on the same period in 2017, with its busiest day falling on Saturday 22nd December.
Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, said: “We have continued to expand our footprint across the UK over the past year, and it is no surprise that this contributed to more customers than ever before shopping with us in December and over the Christmas period. In the context of a tough trading environment facing all grocery retailers, we are particularly pleased with the performance of our ‘Deluxe’ premium range of products, which registered strong sales increases and proved a major draw for new and existing customers. We understand that shoppers are increasingly conscious of cost and for that reason, we not only continued to invest in our low prices – as is seen in our 19p veg offers - but also innovation across our premium range, all to enable our customers to have the best possible seasonal celebrations.”
Lidl’s mince pie selection, which included frangipane and ice topped options, alongside more traditional flavours, sold like ‘hot cakes’, with shoppers buying over 40,000 mince pies an hour. The supermarket’s speciality fruit and veg was also flavour of the day, with its Sprouts Trees, Cavelo Nero and Speciality Broccoli helping to create a 100% uplift in sales of its premium fruit and veg offering. A surprise best seller across the season, from Lidl’s Deluxe range, was its Brioche Burger Buns, of which it sold 100 tonnes – the equivalent of eight New Routemaster buses. Following the success of its pink gin liqueurs in Christmas 2017, Lidl introduced new flavours to its artisanal Hortus gin range, including Plum and Cinnamon, and Gingerbread. This contributed to an 18% YOY sales increase across its beer, wine and spirits range, making it the fastest growing in the market over the Christmas season.
This year, Lidl launched a Christmas dinner donation initiative in partnership with Neighbourly to help tackle loneliness, donating 3,000 full Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings, to 131 local charities across Great Britain. These food items enabled charities to bring people together and host a Christmas meal over the festive period.
Lidl’s store expansion also continued at pace across the UK in the final months of the year, with seven stores opening throughout the holiday season. To support its continued growth in the UK, Lidl has committed to investing a further £1.45bn across 2019 and 2020 in the UK, which includes the opening of a new RDC in Doncaster in early 2019.
Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, added: “All of our colleagues across the country play such a critical role during this busy period and I’m really proud of and grateful for their commitment and dedication to our customers. Going into the new year we remain committed to helping Lidl customers save on their shopping, and continue to focus on providing our unbeatable high-quality-low-price combination.”
3rd January 2019: Lidl UK has today announced that it has launched its Grassroots Dairy Partnership, with Müller Milk & Ingredients, which marks the latest development in their work together to secure a sustainable end-to-end dairy supply chain, from the grassroots through to the customer.
The partnership follows Lidl’s commitment last year, to offer a fixed-term price deal to dairy farmers, and covers all of the elements necessary in building and securing a sustainable dairy sector. This includes transparent sourcing, animal welfare, the environment and people.
Through a Lidl ambassador programme, formed in conjunction with Müller Direct Next Generation, the partnership specifically focuses on developing the next generation of UK dairy farmers. Young farmers signed up as Lidl Grassroots Dairy Partnership ambassadors will be offered bespoke training, including workshops on how to achieve lean and effective processes, as well as the opportunity to engage with Lidl’s senior management teams, to enhance their knowledge of the retail industry.
Lidl UK’s Commercial Director, Ryan McDonnell, said: “Following our announcement last year, we’re excited to be launching this partnership and working with Müller to help secure a supply chain that will safeguard the long-term viability of dairy farming in the UK.”
“As a business, we are committed to supporting sustainable growth in the British dairy farming sector, and through our new ambassador programme, we look forward to cultivating the relationships we have with young farmers across the country.”
Rob Hutchison, Milk Supply Director at Müller Milk & Ingredients said: “We are delighted to further build our long term strategic partnership with Lidl, working together to deliver benefits for the whole supply chain, from consumer to farmer.”
“The ‘Müller Direct Fixed Price Contract’, introduced in 2018 with support from Lidl, is already providing dairy farmers with real security and confidence for the future.”
“The other initiatives we will now work on together will be focused on tackling additional challenges including greater use of recycled plastics, reducing food waste and water use, and further strengthening dairy farming businesses.”
“Müller now has the most comprehensive, well invested network of dairies in the UK and we aim to work in partnership with key customers like Lidl so that they can offer consumers a distinctive fresh milk proposition.”
As part of its sourcing strategy, Lidl is committed to supporting British producers, with up to two thirds of core products sourced from UK suppliers. In March 2017, Lidl signed the NFU’s ‘Back British Farming Charter’, further cementing its commitment to the British farming industry.
- Lidl is donating Christmas dinners to 131 local charities and community causes tackling loneliness and isolation across the country
- The supermarket will donate 282 turkeys, 4,716 pigs in blankets and 65kg of Brussels sprouts, providing up to 3,000 Christmas dinners
- The festive food items will enable the charities to bring people together and host a Christmas dinner over the festive period
- The products will supplement the food surplus that the supermarket already donates from its stores throughout the year, through its ‘Feed it Back’ food redistribution programme
- Nick Davies, Founder of Neighbourly, commented that “Christmas Dinner is too important to be left to chance”
29th November 2018: Lidl is set to donate a selection of staple festive food items to charities and community groups tackling loneliness and isolation this Christmas, which will equate to 3,000 Christmas dinners.
The move comes off the back of feedback from charities and projects that Lidl supports throughout the year, which identified that additional donations were required to facilitate events to bring people experiencing isolation together. The groups include homeless and community kitchens, and elderly social groups.
The donations include a total of 282 turkeys, 4,700 pigs in blankets, 131 tubs of gravy granules, 26kg of cranberry sauce, 655kg of potatoes and 65kg of Brussels sprouts, which will be donated to 131 charities and community groups across the country.
The products are in addition to the food surplus, including fresh vegetables, already donated by the supermarket all year round, and will enable the projects to cook a full Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings.
Mark Newbold, CSR Manager at Lidl UK commented: “It’s incredibly heartening to hear about all of the good causes that our food surplus goes towards through our national food redistribution programme, but we know that the Christmas period in particular can be a very difficult time for many people suffering from loneliness. This is why we wanted to give a bit extra to the communities and projects that our store teams support throughout the year, helping to bring people together.”
Nick Davies, Founder of Neighbourly, said: "At Christmas-time, donating food is about more than providing meals - it's about making a special effort to include vulnerable people who for most of the year feel they don't belong. Lidl recognise that Christmas Dinner is too important to be left to chance and they should be applauded for listening to what's really happening in society and trying to do something about it."
Helen Rawling, from Kitchen for Everyone in York, one of the groups receiving a Lidl donation, added: "The offer of food for our Christmas meal is absolutely amazing and we are so very grateful. We will be serving our meal to the homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded of York on Boxing Day and again on New Year’s Day so the food will be a huge help. It’s wonderful that Lidl donate all year round and support groups like ours to help those less fortunate."
In partnership with Neighbourly, Lidl launched its national food redistribution programme, named Feed it Back, in January 2017, enabling each of its stores to connect with local good causes and donate edible food surplus directly. The supermarket completed its national rollout this summer, marking the fastest rollout of any other supermarket, and, to date, Lidl stores across England, Scotland and Wales have helped to provide over two million meals for those in need.
Any community projects that would benefit from partnering with a Lidl store can simply visit the Neighbourly website, call 0117 917 5311, or email email@example.com, to find out more about how to register.
- Lidl has announced that it will be increasing salaries of all its hourly paid employees in the new year
- The news comes as operations begin at its new warehouse in Avonmouth
- Entry-level wages will increase from £8.75 to £9.00, and will come into effect from 1st March 2019
- The supermarket is continuing to recruit for roles at the distribution centre, to cater for its expanding operations
- The warehouse will initially service 42 stores across the West of England, which will continue to rise
- The new pay rise will directly benefit nearly 1,200 store and warehouse employees in the region
25 November 2018: Lidl has announced that it will be increasing the wages of all its hourly paid employees, directly benefiting employees at its new distribution centre in Avonmouth.
As part of the supermarket’s ongoing commitment to supporting its employees inside and outside of the workplace, Lidl will be increasing entry-level pay from £8.75 to £9.00, which will come into effect from 1st March 2019.
This marks the fourth year that Lidl has increased the pay of its hourly paid employees, to match the rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, which equates to an increase of nearly 25% in just four years. The new starting salaries will be 10% higher than the Government’s new ‘National Living Wage’, announced in the latest Budget.
The news comes as operations begin at the brand new warehouse, which will service 42 of the supermar-ket’s stores across the west of England to start with, which will continue to rise in the coming months.
As operations expand, Lidl is continuing to recruit for roles at the warehouse, particularly in the run up to Christmas, when it experiences its busiest trading period.
The 52,000m² distribution centre, which is Lidl’s biggest in the UK, will support stores from Bridgwater to Worcester and across to Oxford, with 3,800 pallets of products projected to pass through the premises every day.
Graham Clark, Lidl UK Regional Director for Avonmouth, said: “The opening of our new distribution centre marks an incredibly exciting time for the business, and I’m delighted that it also coincides with our commit-ment to increase salaries in the new year.
“We have some of the most talented people in the industry working with us, and it’s therefore only right that they continue to be amongst the best paid. As we continue to expand our operations in the region, we look forward to welcoming more colleagues into the Lidl team, and encourage anyone interested in working with us, to get in touch via our careers website.”
The opening of its new Avonmouth RDC forms part of the supermarket’s commitment to invest £1.45bn in Great Britain between 2017-18. The grocer has opened three new warehouses in the past two years, in Southampton, Wednesbury and Exeter, with plans for five further regional distribution centres to open by 2025, along with the relocation of its Livingston warehouse to Eurocentral.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to growing customer demand, with 730 stores nationwide to date. The supermarket continues to be one of the fastest growing in the UK, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel* figures showing a market share high of 5.6%. and year-on-year sales growth of 12.7%, making it one of the fastest growing supermarkets in Britain.
*Kantar Worldpanel 12 weeks to w/e 07 October 2018
- Lidl is the first UK supermarket to purchase Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) credits for its entire soy footprint, making it the largest buyer of credits in the UK
- RTRS credits ensure that soy farmers receive a premium for producing soy to the highest sustainable standards
- 90% of soy that comes into the EU is used to feed livestock in the production of meat, poultry, dairy and eggs
- Soy production continues to be a significant driver in the loss of forests and valuable native vegetationClaire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth gives support ahead of the first Green GB Week
12 October 2018: Lidl UK has today announced its industry leading commitments to sourcing soy from sustainable, deforestation-free sources. Lidl’s sustainable soy policy is the boldest move by any supermarket in the UK and signals a step change in commitments to creating a sustainable soy industry.
From this month, Lidl UK will, within its own supply chain, only source soy from sustainable sources. On top of this immediate action of purchasing credits*, and through its recent membership of the UK government’s Roundtable for Sustainable Soy, Lidl is committed to working with all its UK suppliers to achieve physically traceable, sustainable, zero-deforestation soy in the long term. Lidl UK was also a founding signatory of the Cerrado Manifesto in 2017 - a call to action to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in Brazil’s Cerrado.
The vast majority of soy (90%) that comes into the EU, is used to feed livestock in the production of meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. As the expansion of soy production continues to be a significant driver in the loss of forests and valuable native vegetation, particularly in South America, Lidl UK has become the first UK retailer to move to 100% sustainable sources with immediate effect. The company sees the move as a critical first step in creating a sustainable sector. Through a ‘direct trade, book and claim’ approach, Lidl will invest its premiums in specific farms in Brazil, that produce soy to the industry acknowledged social and environmental standards, defined by the respected Roundtable for Responsible Soy**. The business hopes that these commitments will lay the groundwork for a rapid increase in market demand for sustainable soy.
Amali Bunter, Responsible Sourcing Manager for Lidl UK commented: “At Lidl UK, we are taking action to ensure that soy production is sustainable and deforestation-free for the long term. We want to create sustainable supply chains that protect the environment, while also delivering high quality products at unbeatable value, and as a major food retailer, we recognise the need to accelerate progress towards a secure, resilient supply of sustainable soy. Through the UK Roundtable for Sustainable Soy we look forward to working collaboratively with industry to ensure that this is achieved.”
Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy - with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs. Ten years on from the Climate Change Act, the first ever Green GB week is a time to build on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy. I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations such as Lidl are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”
* RTRS credits are used to incentivise Soy farmers by ensuring that they receive a premium for producing soy to the highest sustainable standards
**In line with the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya, Lidl understands zero-deforestation soy to be soy that is ‘legal and cultivated in a way that protects against conversion of forests and valuable native vegetation’
- Lidl to complete the removal of black plastic from its fruit and veg range this month
- Black plastic is not recyclable in the UK and the move will save an estimated 50 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill each year
- The black plastic has been removed from products including mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower
- The supermarket has also committed to removing black plastic from its fresh meat, fish and poultry products
21 September 2018: Lidl UK has today announced that it’s to be the first British supermarket to stop using black plastic across its entire fruit and vegetable range, saving an estimated 50 tonnes of black plastic waste a year.
Black plastic is being removed from products including mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower, with the process due to be completed this month (September).
The supermarket has also committed to removing black plastic from its fresh meat, fish and poultry range by August 2019.
The move is one of many steps that the retailer is taking as part of its plastic reduction strategy, and follows the publication of its ambitious targets in March.
Lidl is continuing to test and trial more loose fruit and veg across its fresh produce range, and is in the process of trialling the removal of packaging from onions, cabbages and lettuces.
In addition to reducing plastic packaging by 20% across its own-label products, Lidl UK is committed to ensuring that, where it is necessary to protect food, 100% of its own-label packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable or refillable. Black plastic packaging is not recyclable in the UK, as it cannot be detected by the sorting systems used for plastic recycling.
Ryan McDonnell, Lidl’s Commercial Board Director, commented: “This significant move away from black plastic demonstrates our dedication to tackling this important topic. We recognise the current challenge that black plastic presents to the recycling industry, which is why we have made it our priority to remove it from our fresh ranges. As part of our commitment to achieving our ambitious targets, we are continually exploring opportunities to cut our packaging, and where packaging is necessary to protect food and minimise food waste, we will ensure that it is reusable, refillable or recyclable.”
These commitments build on Lidl UK’s strong track record on plastic reduction, which the supermarket has long been committed to. It was one of the first retailers in the UK to encourage customers to re-use their shopping bags and has charged for plastic carrier bags for the last 24 years for this reason. This commitment was further reinforced in 2017 through the removal of all single-use bags from Lidl stores. In the same year, Lidl made some strong positive steps ahead of legislation by eradicating mircrobeads from all cosmetic and household products, and has committed to only selling packs of paper straws, along with the removal of plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
- Supermarket has purchased a 38 acre site in Gildersome, Leeds for a new regional distribution centre (RDC)
- Plans form part of Lidl UK’s long term expansion ambitions
- The RDC joins an existing pipeline of new Lidl warehouses, located in Doncaster, Bolton, Peterborough and Luton
- Could lead to as many as 500 new jobs once operational
17th September 2018: Lidl UK has today confirmed the purchase of a 38 acre site in Gildersome, Leeds, for a new regional distribution centre.
The news comes after Lidl announced the acquisition of a site near Luton earlier in the year, and forms part of the supermarket’s long term expansion ambitions, which include plans for a further four new warehouses in the coming years.
The new distribution centre, which will follow the construction and opening of new RDCs in Doncaster, Bolton, Peterborough and Luton, will be Lidl’s 17th in Great Britain, and is set to be approximately 60,000m² in size. It could lead to as many as 500 new jobs once operational.
Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK Board Director for Expansion and Development, said: “As we continue to open new stores and serve more customers across the country, it’s important that we also continue to build foundations for the future. This latest investment joins a long line of Lidl warehouses set to open over the next seven years, which are all vital in supporting our growth.”
The purchase of the site forms part of Lidl UK’s £1.45bn expansion investment in Great Britain across 2017-18, and also follows the opening of two new RDCs in Exeter and Wednesbury in 2017.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to customer demand for its quality products at low prices, and now has over 720 stores nationwide.
- In supermarket first, Lidl today launches a trial initiative designed to reduce fruit and veg waste in store
- New ‘Too Good to Waste’ boxes will contain approximately 5kg of fruit and veg for just £1.50 The boxes will include fruit and veg items that are no longer considered at their perfect best, but are still perfectly good to eat
- The boxes will be put together by Lidl’s dedicated Freshness Specialists and could, if rolled out nationwide, lead to a saving of approximately 10,000 tonnes of surplus produce a year
- The supermarket will also introduce additional price reductions on fresh produce that reaches its best before and use by dates
- In 2017, Lidl committed to cut food waste by 25% per store by 2020 and has underlined this further by committing to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) 12.3 target of 50% by 2030
Thursday 2nd August, 2018: Today, Lidl UK announces that it will become the first supermarket to introduce ‘Too Good to Waste’ fruit and vegetable boxes*, containing items that are no longer considered at their perfect best, but are still perfectly good to eat.
The trial is taking place in 122 Lidl stores and has been designed to tackle fruit and veg waste in store, which is one of the biggest contributors to supermarket food waste and could, if rolled out nationwide, help save 10,000 tonnes of surplus produce a year.
It is hoped that the boxes - which will be put together by Lidl’s dedicated Freshness Specialists and priced at just £1.50 for approximately 5kg of mixed fruit and veg - will encourage customers to purchase produce that they might have previously left on the shelf, whilst providing households with a best value option to purchase fruit and veg.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl UK, said: “Food waste is one of the most important topics that our industry is facing, and one that we are fully committed to tackling. This is why, in 2017, we set ourselves the ambitious target of reducing our food waste by 25% across just three years.
“We’re proud that in just one year, our stores have managed to cut food waste by 13%, however we recognise that there’s still a long way to go, to get where we need to be. We’re fortunate that our business model gives us the flexibility and agility to be creative and trial new approaches that can have a real, positive impact.
“Proportionately, we sell the most fruit and veg in the sector, but we know from our data that fresh produce is one of the biggest contributors to food waste in stores, so we’re excited by the difference our ‘Too Good to Waste’ initiative will make. Not only will it help customers consider items that they might have previously dismissed, it will also provide an opportunity for them to make further savings.”
The supermarket has now underlined its target for cutting food waste, by committing to the SDG 12.3 target of 50% by 2030.
Lidl’s Too Good to Waste initiative is one of the many measures the discounter has introduced to tackle the issue of food waste. Since opening its first British stores in 1994, the discounter has chosen not to include ‘Best Before’ dates on 90% of its fruit and veg, allowing customers to make common sense decisions about the fresh produce they buy.
As part of the new initiative, the supermarket will also introduce additional price reductions on its fresh items that do contain best before and use by dates - on top of the 30% reduction already placed on items in the lead up to best before and use by dates - giving customers the opportunity to make further savings on staple items.
One of the most significant steps taken by Lidl to reduce waste is the rollout of its Feed It Back programme. Launched in January 2017, the discounter has worked in partnership with Neighbourly to connect its stores with local charities and donate quality food waste. The rollout across all of its 710+ stores is expected to complete imminently.
Lidl UK was also the first supermarket to trial new ‘journey of food’ labelling in partnership with WRAP, following research conducted by the organisation into messaging that can help reduce household food waste. This has resulted in new labelling being applied to bakery items, highlighting the value of food.
*Too Good to Waste boxes will be on sale first thing in the morning and be available for the first two hours of trading, at which point any unsold items will be donated to local causes via the supermarket’s ‘Feed it Back’ food redistribution programme.
- Since the beginning of 2018, the supermarket is set to open 19 new stores by the end of February, as demand for Lidl grows among UK shoppers
- Five new stores to open today in Edinburgh, Stockton, Hull, Polegate and Rosehill (South London), taking store count to 700
- New store openings in January and February have created over 700 new jobs
- Openings are the latest in Lidl’s £1.45bn expansion and development investment across 2017-2018
- The supermarket plans to open over 50 new stores and regenerate 30 existing stores in FY 2018
15 February 2018: Lidl, the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, has today reached a major milestone with the opening of five new stores, which takes its total store count in Great Britain to 700.
The new stores in Edinburgh, Stockton, Hull, Polegate and Rosehill (South London), form part of an accelerated period of expansion for Lidl, which sees the supermarket set to open up to 19 new stores over an eight week period*.
As a result of the openings, the supermarket, which opened the doors to its first British stores in 1994, has created over 700 new jobs, with 200 new employees celebrating the opening of their new stores today.
All new hourly paid store employees will be amongst the best paid in the industry, following Lidl’s commitment last November to pay the Living Wage, which comes into effect on 1st March this year.
Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK Board Director for Expansion and Development said:
“As the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, surpassing 700 stores is yet further proof of our ambitious rate of expansion across Britain. It’s great that more people than ever before have access to our high quality, fresh and locally sourced products at incredible value, and that as a result, we’re able to create more jobs for local communities up and down the country.”
The new stores form part of Lidl UK’s £1.45bn expansion investment in Great Britain across 2017-18, which includes plans to open over 50 new stores and regenerate 30 existing stores in FY 2018. The supermarket also announced plans at the beginning of the year for a major new Regional Distribution Centre in Luton, which is in addition to a further five new warehouses already in the pipeline.
The news follows a bumper Christmas for the grocer, which experienced a sales growth of 16% year on year. Lidl’s success shows no signs of slowing, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel results** outlining a sales growth of 16.3% year on year and market share of 5%, making it still the fastest growing supermarket in the UK.
*4th Jan – 22nd Feb
** Kantar Worldpanel, 12 weeks to 28 January 2018
- Fastest growing supermarket for the Christmas period*
- Year on year sales increase of 16% in the Christmas trading period
- Week commencing 18 December 2017 was Lidl UK’s strongest ever trading week
- Lidl UK’s 700th store set to open in Q4 FY 2017
London, 10 January 2018: Lidl UK was the fastest growing supermarket* over the Christmas period, achieving record sales for the month of December, as more customers than ever walked through the doors of its stores up and down the country.
Sales across the estate were up 16% on the same period in 2016, while the supermarket experienced its highest ever footfall. The busiest day of the season, which was also a record trading day in Lidl UK’s history, came on 22 December, while the week commencing 18 December 2017 was Lidl UK’s strongest ever trading week.
At Christmas, customers shopped at Lidl UK safe in the knowledge that they were getting market-leading value, after the retailer won Good Housekeeping’s award for the ‘Cheapest Christmas Basket 2017’ which was priced at £25.53.
Lidl UK’s Birchwood Farm whole fresh turkey, available for £3.89 per kilogram, was the most competitively priced among all UK supermarkets and this contributed to a 10% increase in turkey sales. Overall, fresh meat and poultry sales grew by 17% for the period.
Roughly 600 tonnes of brussels sprouts, 17 million mince pies, and over 800,000 litres of Champagne and Prosecco were sold. Sales of Champagne and Prosecco were up 25% and 60% respectively.
Lidl’s Deluxe 24-month matured Christmas pudding, the world’s first, was one of the best-selling products in the range, contributing to a 60% increase in its luxury Christmas pudding sales.
Premium alcohol products also went down well with customers, with the introduction of brand new Deluxe liqueurs for the festive season, including crème de cassis, triple sec and cherry brandy. The bestselling products in this range were Lidl UK’s Hortus pink gin liqueurs, with 644 bottles being sold every hour throughout the Christmas period, contributing to a 39% increase in total gin sales.
Lidl UK’s store expansion also continued at pace in December, with the openings continuing throughout the holiday season. Nine new stores opened during this period and Lidl UK ends the year with 693 stores, up from 650 at the end of 2016. The 700th store is set to open early this year. To support its ambitious expansion, the supermarket also announced a new RDC for Greater London this week, which will be based near Luton and could potentially create up to 1,000 new jobs.
Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, said: “Lidl UK has had a fantastic 2017 and this was capped by our strongest Christmas trading period to date. Customers came into our stores to buy more of their Christmas items, knowing they could find high quality products at market-leading prices. The commitment of our 20,500 colleagues across the country was key to our success during this busy period and I’m extremely grateful for their contribution. We look forward to bringing the Lidl offering to more communities across the UK, as we continue our rapid expansion plan this year.”
- New Regional Distribution Centre will be more than double the size of any other Lidl UK warehouse and will create up to 1,000 new jobs
- 58 acres at J11A of the M1 sold by Houghton Regis Management Co to Lidl
- New warehouse will be Lidl’s fourth for Greater London and 16th in Britain
- Forms part of Lidl’s £1.45bn investment in Britain between 2017-18 and ambitious expansion plans in Greater London
- Five new London stores to open in Shepherds Bush, Walthamstow Central, South Ruislip, Hornchurch and Rosehill in the next two months
- Follows opening of three new warehouses in past 18 months and plans for a further five new warehouses
8th January 2018: Lidl UK will create up to 1,000 new jobs through a major new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) to service stores across Greater London, after exchanging contracts with the Houghton Regis Management Co (a consortium of Aviva Investors, LIH and the Diocese of St Albans) on a 58-acre site in Luton.
The new warehouse, which will be approximately 1,000,000ft², will be Lidl’s largest in the UK at double the size of any of its other warehouses across Great Britain.
Underlining the scale of the supermarket’s ambitious expansion plans in London, the RDC will be Lidl’s fourth for Greater London, supporting warehouses in Belvedere, Northfleet and Enfield, and its 16th in the UK.
Along with the supermarket’s other London RDCs, the new warehouse will manage the supply and distribution of food and non-food products to Lidl stores in and around the M25, whilst supporting the supermarket’s continued growth in Greater London. In the next two months the supermarket will open five new London stores, including Shepherds Bush, Walthamstow Central, South Ruislip, Hornchurch and Rosehill.
Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK Board Director for Expansion and Development, said: “As more London households choose to shop at Lidl we are committed to the continued investment in our operations and infrastructure to support our growth.
“With five new stores opening in the next two months alone, and further store expansion and development plans in place for the Greater London area across the new financial year and beyond, this new warehouse is vital in supporting our ambitious expansion plans in and around the M25.”
The transaction is part of the first phase of the development of this key strategic site being led by the consortium, following the opening of the new J11A of the M1 giving direct access to the 630 acre site. The consented scheme comprises 5,000 houses 3 primary schools and a further 1m sq ft of commercial and retail space .
David Skinner, Managing Director of UK Real Estate at Aviva Investors, said: “We are delighted to have secured Lidl as an owner occupier on this important strategic land site. The wider consented scheme has consent for over 5,000 homes and, following the recent opening of the new M1 motorway junction, we intend to commence development in early 2019”.
The new distribution centre, which forms part of Lidl UK’s £1.45bn expansion investment in Great Britain between 2017-18, follows the opening of two new RDCs in Exeter and Wednesbury in 2017, and the announcement of a further three new warehouses in Doncaster, Bolton and Peterborough. Construction has also begun on two new warehouses in Avonmouth and Eurocentral, Scotland, which will replace its existing warehouses in Weston-Super-Mare and Livingston respectively.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to customer demand for its quality products at low prices, and now has over 690 stores nationwide.
- The centre has created approximately 500 new jobs in the local area
- Warehouse will be Lidl’s 12th in the UK and will service 51 stores across the South West
- Supermarket expected to distribute 40k turkeys, 1.5m mince pies and 100k bottles of Prosecco to the South West during the Christmas period
- Opening follows news this week that Lidl is now the highest-paying supermarket in Britain
10 November 2017: Lidl UK has officially started operations from its new Regional Distribution Centre in Exeter. This £55 million investment has created approximately 500 jobs and will service 40 stores across the region during the busy Christmas period, rising to 51 from February 2018. The new, 50,000 m² hub in the Exeter Gateway business park comes as part of Lidl’s wider investment and modernisation programme across the South West.
The Regional Distribution Centre will serve stores from Penzance to as far as Burnham-on-Sea and across to Weymouth, with 1,700 pallets of products projected to go through its premises every day. The warehouse, which is now gearing up for the busy Christmas period, is predicted to distribute a staggering 40k turkeys, 1.5m boxes of mince pies, 100k bottles of Prosecco, 150k packs of carrots, 100k packs bags of parsnips and 100k packs of Brussels sprouts in the week leading up to Christmas day.
Lidl continues to invest in the South West region, with half of its existing estate being refurbished in the next year. The retailer has also confirmed contracts with 14 suppliers, including Wyke Farms, County Confectionary , Kanes Foods and Crediton Dairy in the area, which will be worth over £100million across the next five years. The company offers its partners extensive export opportunities to Lidl markets across the globe.
Mark Henry, Regional Director at Lidl said: “Christmas is the busiest and most exciting time of year at Lidl. This new Regional Distribution Centre will play an essential role in helping us meet growing customer demand for our award-winning products”.
“The South West is an important region for Lidl and it’s an area where we’ve experienced particularly strong growth. We remain committed to creating high-quality jobs for the communities we serve and this new centre gives us another great opportunity to do just that.”
Lidl has ambitious expansion plans across the UK, with an investment aim of £1.45bn by 2019. Regional Distribution Centres will make up a significant part of this objective, with this latest RDC opening becoming the 12th in the Lidl portfolio. This is the third Regional Distribution Centre opened by the Supermarket in the past 12 months, helping to provide customers with great value and high-quality products at Lidl prices, whilst creating approximately 1,500 new jobs in total.
The opening follows an announcement from the supermarket earlier this week, that it is now the highest-paying supermarket in the UK, after giving all 16,000 of its hourly-paid employees a raise. This includes increasing entry level wages to the new voluntary living wage rate, as announced by the Living Wage Foundation, to ensure that salaries support the real cost of living. In 2015 the supermarket became the first British supermarket to make this commitment.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to growing customer demand, with 680 stores nationwide to date. The supermarket continues to be the fastest growing in the UK, with the most recent Kantar supermarket share data highlighting Lidl’s success in the country, with sales up 16% year on year.
- New development will create up to 500 jobs in the Peterborough area
- The new Regional Distribution Centre will be Lidl UK’s 15th and largest in Britain
- Forms part of Lidl’s £1.45bn investment in the UKThe warehouse is the supermarket’s sixth new RDC to be announced in a year
3rd October 2017: Lidl UK has exchanged contracts on a 34-acre site in Peterborough where it plans to build a new 754,000ft² Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) which will be the supermarket’s 15th and largest in Great Britain, creating up to 500 new jobs for the area.
This increased size underlines Lidl UK’s ambitious expansion plans to invest £1.45bn in Great Britain between 2017-18. The warehouse, which is the supermarket’s sixth new RDC to be announced in a year, will manage the supply and distribution of food and non-food items to stores in the surrounding area, using the latest energy efficient and zero-carbon technologies.
Head of Warehouse Expansion, Adrienne Howells said, “We are very excited about our proposed Regional Distribution Centre in Peterborough. Our expansion across the UK is progressing rapidly, and it’s important we have the right supply chain infrastructure to support this. Peterborough is ideally located and we’re pleased to be bringing more jobs to the local community”.
Lidl UK will now seek to obtain satisfactory planning consent for the site.
Earlier this year, the grocer opened its 11th new warehouse in Wednesbury and more recently announced the start of construction at its Doncaster RDC and its Scottish RDC which is relocating to Eurocentral. A further warehouse in Bolton is also in the pipeline, along with the relocation of Lidl’s Weston-Super-Mare distribution centre to Avonmouth.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to customer demand for its quality products at low prices, now with 670 stores nationwide. Lidl UK’s success shows no signs of slowing, as the latest Kantar Worldpanel results* highlighted the supermarket as the fastest growing in the UK with sales up 19.2% year on year and a market share high of 5.3%.
- The new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) in Doncaster will be Lidl’s 13th in UK
- Warehouse will boost local economy with up to 500 new jobs
- Full operation expected to begin spring 2019Forms part of supermarket’s £1.45 billion expansion investment between 2017-18
17 July, 2017:Lidl UK has today announced that construction will begin today on its new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) at iPort in Rossington, Doncaster.
Lidl is working with construction firm Winvic Construction Ltd to build the RDC, which will create up to 500 new jobs when opened. The build is expected to be completed by spring 2019.
The RDC will be Lidl’s 13th in the UK, forming part of the supermarket’s commitment to invest £1.45bn in Great Britain between 2017-18. With sustainability credentials in mind, the development will incorporate leading efficiency measures to guarantee minimum impact on the environment, including the latest energy efficient mechanical and electrical equipment available, from innovative heat recovery systems to renewable and other zero-carbon technologies.
Adrienne Howells, Lidl UK’s Head of Warehouse Expansion, said: “Our new Lidl Doncaster warehouse is absolutely necessary to accommodate the growing scale of our existing and future operations in the area, as well as providing hundreds of new job opportunities for the local economy. We’re excited to be in a position to break ground and start the build.”
“We are incredibly proud of the teams here at Lidl that have been working in the background to get our new warehouses off the ground, and would like to extend our thanks to all those involved for their hard work and dedication.”
Earlier this year, the grocer opened its 11th new warehouse in Wednesbury and is due to open its 12th in Exeter later in the year, along with the relocation of its Scottish RDC to Eurocentral which began construction just last week and will create over 350 additional jobs. A further warehouse in Bolton is also in the pipeline, along with the relocation of Lidl’s Weston-Super-Mare distribution centre to Avonmouth.
Lidl’s success continues as the latest Kantar Worldpanel results* highlighted the supermarket as the fastest growing in the UK with sales up 18.8% year on year and a market share high of 5%.
- The new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) at Eurocentral will be one of Lidl’s largest in UK
- Warehouse will boost local economy with up to 360 new jobs
- Full operation expected to begin winter 2019
- Forms part of supermarket’s £1.45 billion expansion investment between 2017-18
Wednesday 12th July 2017: Lidl UK has announced that construction has started on its new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) at Eurocentral in North Lanarkshire.
Lidl is working with construction firm Winvic Construction Ltd to build the RDC, which will create up to 360 additional jobs when opened. The build is expected to be completed by winter 2019.
The RDC will replace the current warehouse in Livingston, which first opened in 1996 and has 429 employees. The relocation forms part of the supermarket’s commitment to invest £1.45bn in Great Britain between 2017-18. With sustainability credentials in mind, the development will incorporate leading efficiency measures to guarantee minimum impact on the environment, including the latest energy efficient mechanical and electrical equipment available, from innovative heat recovery systems to renewable and other zero-carbon technologies.
Ross Millar, Lidl UK’s Managing Director for Scotland, said: “As we continue to invest in our property portfolio and open new stores, it is vital to have the supply chain infrastructure to support this. Our new Distribution Centre is therefore necessary to secure our future growth in Scotland. It is equally as important to be able to provide new job opportunities for the local economy in addition to the existing jobs we currently have. As such, we’re incredibly excited to break ground and start the build.”
“We are incredibly proud of the teams here at Lidl that have been working in the background to get our new RDC off the ground, and would like to extend our thanks to all those involved for their hard work and dedication.”
Earlier this year, the grocer opened its 11th new warehouse in Wednesbury and is due to open its 12th in Exeter later in the year. Construction of its new Doncaster warehouse is also scheduled to start imminently. A further warehouse in Bolton is also in the pipeline, along with the relocation of its Weston-Super-Mare distribution centre to Avonmouth.
Lidl’s success continues as the latest Kantar Worldpanel results* highlighted the supermarket as the fastest growing in the UK with sales up 18.8% year on year and a market share high of 5%.
- Long-term commitment from the supermarket will enable the charity to reach one million children with its ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ primary school programme
- Support is vital, with two children in every classroom suffering some form of abuse
19th April 2017: A new partnership between the NSPCC and Lidl UK will enable the children’s charity to reach one million primary school children with crucial advice on how to stay safe from abuse.
The supermarket chain is committed to raising £3 million over the next three years for the NSPCC’s Schools Service.
Currently the charity has only managed to get into two-thirds of primary schools across the country with their ‘Speak Out! Stay Safe’ programme.
But with Lidl UK’s support the NSPCC will be looking to reach every primary school with their interactive assemblies and workshops designed to keep young children happy and safe from abuse.
The new partnership, which is the NSPCC’s first with a major supermarket, was the result of a vote that was opened up to Lidl’s 20,000 employees who work in its 650 stores and 11 distribution centres across the UK.
Through the partnership, Lidl UK employees will also be given the opportunity to volunteer with the NSPCC to see the work the charity does with children and young people first hand.
They will also be able to witness ‘Speak Out! Stay Safe’ being delivered in primary schools close to the stores where they work, seeing for themselves how children are being taught to protect their bodies and encouraged to speak out if something is wrong.
Peter Wanless, Chief executive of the NSPCC said:
“We are delighted that Lidl UK have chosen us as their charity partner. Their support means we will be able to train enough volunteers to deliver our schools service to every primary school in the UK, enabling us to reach one million children with crucial advice on how to stay safe and happy.
“This is especially important when you consider that two children in every classroom have suffered some form of abuse, a state of affairs that is completely unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.
“Lidl’s long-term commitment to support the NSPCC will help us tackle this problem and ensure many more young people are given the opportunity to enjoy a happy childhood.”
Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl UK, said: “With 650 stores and 20,000 employees nationwide, Lidl UK is at the heart of communities across the country. We, therefore, feel proud that we are in a position to give back to those local communities by enabling the NSPCC to expand its Schools Service to every primary school in the UK.
“This isn’t just a commitment from the business, but one from all of our employees who voted for our new charity partner. We were all incredibly inspired by the work that the NSPCC does and, together, we are dedicated to helping them provide the vital support needed to keep children safe so that they can grow up healthy and thrive.”
- Lidl UK to move to 100% sustainable cocoa this month
- The switch will include over 120 Lidl own brand products, as well as seasonal and promotional lines
- Cocoa in all solid chocolate, including Lidl’s entire Easter range, is already sustainably sourced
- Announcement coincides with busiest day for Easter Egg sales
- Supermarket to sell over 1m Easter eggs this year
13th April 2017: Lidl UK has today announced that it will become the first British supermarket to move to 100% sustainable cocoa in the ingredients of all of its own brand products, from the chocolate chips in its biscuits to the chocolate powder on its tiramisu, the chocolate coating on its ice creams and its entire range of Easter chocolates.
The news of the move, which will be complete by the end of April, coincides with the supermarket’s busiest day for sales of Easter eggs, assuring shoppers that the chocolate they buy this Easter weekend comes from sustainable sources.
Lidl UK is dedicated to offering its customers the highest quality products at the best prices, which includes ensuring that key ingredients, like cocoa, are ethically sourced. The supermarket, which permanently stocks over 120 own brand products that contain cocoa, has worked in collaboration with Fairtrade Foundation, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance. The move will help to improve the lives of cocoa farming communities across the world, by improving farming methods, protecting the environment and increasing income through fair prices. The commitment will also include all of the retailer’s seasonal and promotional lines that are stocked by Lidl UK throughout the year.
Ryan McDonnell, Lidl UK’s Commercial Board Director, commented: “Cocoa is a crucial ingredient for many of our products, so it is important to us, our customers and those that work across our supply chain, that it is sourced in a way that promotes sustainable production, improves working conditions and tackles wider social challenges.
“We are proud to be the first British supermarket to make the move to 100% sustainably sourced cocoa, and are pleased to be able to confirm the news ahead of the Easter weekend, when British families traditionally enjoy chocolate.”
Lidl UK’s announcement around Cocoa forms part of a wider commitment to responsible sourcing for a range of the supermarket’s key products and ingredients, including fish, tea, coffee and palm oil, helping to ensure that 100% of its products and ingredients are sustainably sourced.
 Lidl is currently in the process of updating its packaging to include the respective certification labels
 Lidl UK sales data
- The Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) in Wednesbury is Lidl’s 11th in the UK
- Warehouse is Lidl UK’s biggest at 40,500 m² - the equivalent of 10 football pitches
- Opening boosts local economy with 400 new jobs
- Forms part of supermarket’s £1.5 billion expansion investment between 2015-18
- RDC will service 56 stores, with an additional 8 stores planned in the next two years
30th March 2017: Lidl UK has today announced the opening of its 11th Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), in Wednesbury, providing a major boost to the local economy and employment through the creation of 400 new jobs. The new RDC - the supermarket’s second to open in just six months - forms part of Lidl’s ongoing expansion plans in Great Britain and is its biggest warehouse in the UK, at 40,500 m².
The opening underlines the retailer’s commitment to the sustainable growth of its business both in the region and across the rest of the UK, as it continues to experience unprecedented sales growth.
The supermarket, which opened its first British-based RDC in 1994 in nearby Lutterworth, currently has warehouses in ten other locations up and down the country, including Southampton, Northfleet, Enfield, Belvedere, Bridgend, Livingston, Weston-Super-Mare, Lutterworth, Newton Aycliffe, and Runcorn.
Last year, the grocer opened a new warehouse in Southampton, and recently announced that plans to relocate and expand its Scottish RDC to Eurocentral, creating over 350 jobs, had been given the green light for construction, while further warehouses in Exeter, Doncaster and Bolton are also in the pipeline.
The new RDC, which is the size of 10 football pitches, boasts facilities of the highest design specification. Having been built with Lidl’s strong sustainability credentials in mind, the development incorporates leading efficiency measures to guarantee minimum impact on the environment, including the latest energy efficient mechanical and electrical equipment available, from innovative heat recovery systems to renewable and other zero-carbon technologies.
The opening of its Wednesbury RDC follows the commitment made by Lidl UK in November 2015 to invest £1.5 billion over the next three years, as it continues to expand its warehouses and 650-strong store portfolio to accommodate its rapid growth in the UK.
Richard Shaw, Lidl UK Regional Director for Wednesbury, said: “The opening of our new Lidl Wednesbury warehouse marks an incredibly exciting time for the business, particularly in and around the West Midlands. Not only is it necessary to accommodate the scale of our existing and future operations in the area, we have been able to create significant job opportunities as a result of the new warehouse and will continue to invest in the West Midlands and beyond, as we move forward with our expansion plans.
“We are incredibly proud of the teams here at Lidl that have been working in the background to get the new warehouse off the ground, and would like to extend our thanks to all those involved for their hard work and dedication.”
In October 2015 the supermarket became the first to introduce the real living wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, and were proud to be the first supermarket to announce a further increase in entry-level salaries, to match the Living Wage Foundation’s new rates in 2017. This will ensure that Lidl employees across its stores and regional distribution centres are amongst the best paid in the industry.
Lidl’s success continues with latest Kantar Worldpanel* figures showing a market share high of 4.6%. and year-on-year sales growth of 13%, making it the fastest growing supermarket in Britain.
- Supermarket cements its strong commitment to the British Farming industry through NFU’s ‘Back British Farming Charter’
21 March 2017: Lidl UK, Britain’s fastest-growing supermarket, has signed the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) ‘Back British Farming Charter’.
The Back British Farming Charter calls on the food industry to show support for British farming by strengthening its British product offerings and working in close partnership with British farmers to develop committed, fair, beneficial and transparent relationships.
With approximately two thirds of its core range sourced from British suppliers, and having worked closely with many of its suppliers for more than 15 years, the supermarket has long been passionate about supporting and maintaining strong relationships with its producers. Its unique business model, which operates a lean buying team with a simple, flat reporting structure, offers suppliers more streamlined channels of communication and enables the supermarket to develop long-term partnerships that contribute to sustainable British farming industry.
In addition to stocking British sourced products in its UK stores, Lidl also exports over £300m worth of British produce a year to 27 other countries, giving the rest of the world the opportunity to taste the best that Britain has to offer.
Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, commented: “Our goal for the future is to continue to put best practice in sustainability firmly at the heart of the business, and supporting growth in the British farming sector is another crucial step in fulfilling that ambition.
“To ensure that we can always offer our customers the freshest, highest quality products at the best prices, it is imperative that we continue to support the British farming industry and further cultivate the strong relationships that we have with our suppliers.”
The announcement follows Lidl UK’s backing of the NFU’s Fruit and Vegetable Pledge in 2016, further demonstrating its commitment to ensuring that its sourcing process supports the growth and development of UK production
- North Lanarkshire Council planning committee grant planning permission for new Scottish
- Regional Distribution Centre (RDC)
- Lidl to invest in new RDC at Eurocentral
- New RDC will enable supermarket to create up to 360 new jobs
- Construction to commence within 6 months
23rd February 2017: Lidl UK, one of Britain’s fastest growing supermarkets, has today been given the go ahead by North Lanarkshire Council for a brand new Regional Distribution Centre at Eurocentral in North Lanarkshire
The food retailer, which became the first supermarket to pay its employees the real Living Wage, is planning a multi-million pound investment in the relocation of its 400 strong workforce from Livingston to the new site at Eurocentral, located off Coddington Crescent, which the company secured in 2016.
The planned 58,000 m² highly sustainable RDC will replace Lidl UK’s current Scottish headquarters, which the business originally moved into in 1996 and has since outgrown. This will enable the supermarket to provide enhanced support for the supermarket’s 92 stores up and down the country (from Kirkwall to Stranraer), as well as create more local job opportunities and allow for further expansion and investment in Scotland.
Ross Millar, Managing Director for Lidl in Scotland, commented: “We have worked very closely with North Lanarkshire Council since 2016 and are greatly encouraged by the committee’s decision at today's committee meeting.
“Our new RDC not only signifies an investment in our own infrastructure and workforce, but also highlights our wider ambitions within Scotland as Lidl UK continues to experience incredible growth.”
“Our expansion could not be possible without being able to recruit the right people and I am equally proud that we were the first supermarket to pay the Living Wage rate, as set by the Living Wage Foundation.”
The news follows the opening of a brand new Lidl distribution centre in Southampton in November 2016, which created more than 400 permanent jobs, along with further commitments to open new warehouses in Wednesbury, Exeter, Bolton and Doncaster which will create an additional 2,000 jobs combined.
25th January 2017: Lidl UK has announced the launch of a national food redistribution programme, in partnership with Neighbourly*, that will enable all Lidl stores across England, Scotland and Wales to donate food surplus to local food charities helping to tackle food poverty, which could equate to two million meals a year.
The national rollout follows a highly successful eight-week pilot programme with stores in and around Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, which helped to feed more than 3,400 people across community centres, elderly day care centres, housing support projects and children’s centres.
The first 100 Lidl stores will be fully active by the end of June 2017, with more stores joining the programme throughout the year and the ambition to have all stores participating by summer 2018.
Through the Neighbourly network, each store will be linked to local charitable projects that will be able to collect edible food surplus directly from the stores each day.
The supermarket has also become the first retailer to sign up to Neighbourly’s #FundaFridge Campaign, donating over 100 fridges and freezers to projects that struggle with storage for the food donations that they receive.
Daniela Tulip, Lidl UK Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, commented: “This new partnership provides a great opportunity for us to make a real, positive contribution to the communities that we operate in.
“Crucially, we are able to help improve charities’ ability to safely store food through the donation of fridges and freezers, which will increase their capacity to sustainably manage surplus food and, in turn, provide more meals for those who need them.”
“Using Neighbourly means that those most in need do not face the additional pressure of having to pay to have food surplus donations delivered,” commented Nick Davies, Founder of Neighbourly .
“As we’ve seen with the success of the pilot programme with Lidl, if adopted widely, this model could change how the supermarket industry deals with the redistribution of surplus food and provide a more holistic solution for community partners. ”As well as matching Lidl with local food projects via its online platform, Neighbourly attracts volunteers to help redistribute food surplus on a daily basis, eliminating transportation costs for the food projects. Both food volunteers and projects can register interest on Neighbourly.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Doncaster, a volunteer at Central Community Centre in Scunthorpe, said: “The initiative is having a great effect on our canteen. It is helping us with ingredients, so we are saving money on purchasing. We are so grateful and have put a sign up in the centre ensuring that people are aware of the input Lidl is having on their community centre.”
The announcement follows Lidl UK’s signing of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 last year, pledging to collectively reduce food waste by a fifth and double the amount of food redistributed to 30,000 tonnes in the next four years.
*Neighbourly is a social platform that matches local projects with people and organisations to redistribute food surplus to good causes.
- Supermarket acquires site at Logistics North Development in Bolton for 14th UK warehouse
5 January 2017: Today, Lidl UK revealed plans for a brand new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) in Bolton, Greater Manchester, following the freehold acquisition of 43.71 acres at Harworth Group’s flagship Logistics North development.
The news of the warehouse marks another multi-million pound investment by the retailer, following a series of recent announcements about the supermarket’s extensive expansion plans, including the opening of its newest RDC in Southampton and a planned new RDC in Doncaster.
Adrienne Howells, Lidl UK’s Head of Warehouse Expansion, commented: “With more British customers choosing Lidl as their family supermarket we are laser focused on the sustainable growth of our business.
“Once again we are delighted to reveal plans for another Lidl distribution centre in Great Britain, bringing investment to Bolton, new jobs and additional support to our existing and future stores in the north of England.
“We will be working closely with the Council to develop our plans for the site, and a planning application is likely to be forthcoming later in the year.”
Phil Wilson, Managing Director of Capital Growth at Harworth Group plc, said: “Logistics North has established itself as one of the North of England’s leading distribution locations and we are naturally delighted to welcome a leading company like Lidl to Logistics North.
“Our extensive work in both remediating the site and masterplanning it for employment uses continues to yield results for both Harworth and the site’s occupiers. We look forward to welcoming further occupiers to the site in 2017.”
The supermarket, which opened its first British based RDC in 1994, currently has warehouses in ten other locations up and down the country, including Northfleet, Enfield, Belvedere, Livingston, Weston-Super-Mare, Lutterworth, Newton Aycliffe, Runcorn, Bridgend and Southampton.
Last year the grocer announced that it would be relocating its warehouses in Weston-Super-Mare and Livingston to Avonmouth and Eurocentral respectively, as well as opening three new warehouses in Wednesbury, Exeter and Doncaster along with the expansion of its RDCs in Newton Aycliffe and Runcorn.
- 10% YoY increase in sales
- Sales of ‘Pick of the Week’ carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and potatoes increased by 60%
- Turkey sales increase by 40% following bold advertising campaign
- Over 40,000 MSC certified Lobster sold in one day following innovative social media campaign
- Sales of Prosecco doubled Focus on saving customers money and ongoing expansion plans in 2017
11th January 2017: Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, said: “It’s incredibly encouraging that, during this highly competitive time, we have achieved our most successful festive trading period ever, following a year-on-year sales increase of 10%.
In the year that we were awarded Good Housekeeping’s ‘Best Supermarket 2016’, it’s clear that customers are continuing to be enticed by our resolute commitment to provide them with the best quality products at the lowest prices, particularly during the festive period.
Customers were once again won over by the quality and freshness of our fruit and vegetables this year, with sales of our festive ‘Pick of the Week’ products, including carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and potatoes increasing by 60%.
With nearly three quarters of British households tucking into turkeys on Christmas day, our turkeys also proved particularly popular, with sales increasing by 40%. This followed our boldest advertising campaign to date, which truly shone a light on the quality of our products by inviting real customers to visit our suppliers and see the farms for themselves. As a result, research conducted by Kantar Millward Brown revealed that Lidl topped the list of adverts most likely to persuade people to purchase, which is a fantastic achievement and ultimately the key objective of any retailer during such a key trading period, demonstrating a clear translation to sales.
We are unwaveringly committed to helping customers save as much money as possible, and became the first supermarket to use our social media channels to put our prices into the public’s hands. Powered purely by Twitter chatter, customers were able to drive down the price of key Christmas products, including our MSC certified Lobster, which dropped to £2.99 and resulted in 40,000 sales in just one day.
We were thrilled to have been awarded ‘Own Brand Spirits Retailer of the Year’ at the 2016 International Spirits Challenge for the second year running, which is testament to our innovative spirits selection that included new offerings for Christmas, such as our Spiced Hortus Gin and our Ignis French Grain Vodka. Our Prosecco was another hero product this year, with sales more than doubling that of last year.
Our colleagues across the business continue to do a phenomenal job as we experience unparalleled demand, and we were proud to have once again become the first supermarket to announce an increase in salaries, matching the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended rate.
Going into 2017 we are absolutely focused on saving our customers more money than ever before, which we will be demonstrating through our brand new ‘Big on Quality, Lidl on Price’ campaign. We also remain fully committed to our ongoing expansion plans, which will see the opening of up to 50 new stores next year, along with two new Regional Distribution Centres, creating thousands of new jobs up and down the country.”