The discount grocer, owned by the Schwartz Group, is testing the format – a world first – at the entrance of the Edmonton Green shopping centre in north London.
At about 5,920 sq ft, the store is roughly half the size of a purpose-built Lidl. There is greater emphasis on food to go, such as sandwiches, soft drinks and freshly brewed coffee. The limited product range is sold at identical prices to its larger stores.
A Lidl spokesman said that Lidl Express is a trial and there are no plans to roll it out further as yet. “A lot of consideration has gone into the format and we will examine the results in time,” he said.
The format would give the discount grocer the chance to open in smaller city centre locations. Planet Retail senior discount retail analyst Matthias Queck said: “Lidl may be trying new locations to raise brand awareness, as more people are trying discount supermarkets in the present climate. The high footfall probably makes up for a smaller basket size.”
Discounters continue to gain UK market share. TNS found that, for the 12 weeks to August 10, Lidl achieved growth of 12.3 per cent.