Discounter Lidl is considering a move into ecommerce in a bid to continue its rapid UK growth and steal further market share from its rivals.
- Lidl is mulling over a move to sell wine online
- Online grocery sales are set to hit £17bn by 2019
- Discount rival Aldi already sells wine online in Australia
The growth of online shopping has helped offset the falling sales Britain’s biggest supermarkets have experienced, but discounters Lidl and Aldi have so far refused to take their business online. Their models are based on simple and efficient operations to keep prices low, but other supermarkets have struggled to make profit from their ecommerce operations, since shoppers do not pay enough in delivery charges to cover the costs.
Online grocery sales are set to hit £17bn by 2019 and those figures have prompted Lidl to explore a move into the ecommerce market.
“We are aware that online is a big category. There needs to be a lot of thought put into it.”
Ben Hulme, Lidl
Lidl UK’s head of beer and wine, Ben Hulme, told trade journal the Drinks Business: “The growth in wine is there to be seen and I would love to do it.
“However, I don’t have the full picture in terms of the full complexity of what that would mean for the business.
“We are aware that online is a big category. There needs to be a lot of thought put into it. What we are not going to do is put up a half thought-out online shop. If we do it, we will consider it properly and do it properly.”
Hulme was behind Lidl’s move into the premium wine market last year, a strategy where the discounter introduced a range of 48 wines priced from £4.99 to £21.99 per bottle.
Its discount rival Aldi has sold alcohol online in Australia since 2013 but, like Lidl, is yet to trial an online service in Europe.
Both grocers continue to increase their presence in the UK by stealing market share from the big four, although their growth is beginning to plateau.
According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, Lidl’s sales growth slowed to 9%, while Aldi’s was 15% – down from 20% a year ago.