Lidl plans to grow its ecommerce sales to one billion euros in 2018.
Lidl has been focusing on growing its online business, particularly in its international markets. It has trialled a grocery offer in Germany but has since stopped selling food through the service, focusing on non-food for the time being. However, in the USA it has partnered with Shipt to offer grocery delivery in select areas. New digital director, Thorsten Reichle, stated that digital sales in the last financial year grew by more than 50% and says the relevance of e-commerce for Lidl is increasing.
Lidl online in Poland
The retailer has developed an online platform in Poland selling wine. The site allows customers to reserve their products, however it is not a full online service and does not offer delivery options. Customers get notified when their order is ready (usually three to seven days) and can then pick it up from store. The wine is packed in specially prepared cardboard boxes, in crates of either four, six or nine. First time visitors to the website get 10% off the cost of their order if they subscribe to the newsletter.
Lidl has also been developing a new app called Lidl Plus, building on its existing app offer. The new platform will incorporate special discounts and also provide electronic receipts. In the future, it plans to give customers the ability to pay through the app, increasing the convenience and ease of the shopping experience. The app has so far been tested in Spain and will initially be rolled out in Austria. We expect to see continual developments in the ecommerce and technology space from Lidl over the coming year.
Bricks and mortar investment
Fellow Schwarz Group subsidiary, Kaufland, has expanded its distribution network with the launch of an automated warehouse in central Poland. The warehouse is considered one of Kaufland’s most modern facilities of this type in Europe. The investment is a response to market needs to process distribution orders more efficiently and with a higher turnaround. The new warehouse is equipped with automated picking stations that run at a rate of 500 to 600 packages per hour. This is a threefold increase in the internal flow of goods in the warehouse.