I am a new Lidl convert and as far as I am concerned, there’s no going back. A recent trip to my previous store Sainsbury’s (where a quick shop totted up to an almighty £84) confirmed I was making the right choice.
Today’s announcement that Sainsbury’s won’t give up without a fight with £150m worth of cuts following its warnings of profit before tax losses of some 6% equating to £375m is unlikely to lure me back.
Much of the debate around Sainsbury’s includes some of the issues, which has seen people like me jump ship. We have been hearing pretty much the same argument over the past few months and at least since Tesco’s catastrophic announcement, that the big supermarkets, are just too big. And I mean literally. These out-of-town supermarkets are vast and the philosophy that we all trundle off for our weekly shop, buy from one place and heap a load of other ‘offers’ into our trolleys at the same time is now totally out of kilter with our tightening the belt, shop savvy attitude. It seems Sainsbury’s, along with Tesco, have committed the cardinal sin of being out of tune with their customers.
I used to be an internet supermarket shopping convert: you didn’t have to make the effort to visit the store, you were less likely to choose additional items you don’t really need and someone else does all the hard work. I think internet shopping still has its merits; a well-timed delivery on return from your holiday is just bliss. I also think the big shop still has its place. My massive Christmas shop will be undertaken at Sainsbury’s when I will enjoy using, probably the last, of my reward points.
But, on the whole, I have changed my shopping habits completely. I no longer do the big weekly shop and instead pop in every few days to buy what we need. I spend less money and there’s less wastage.
So, for what it’s worth, my top five reasons for shopping at Lidl:-
As a self-employed mother of three secondary school aged youngsters, time is my most valuable resource. Shopping at Lidl is quick and easy. I shop two or three times a week and I am in and out in about 15-20 minutes. My experience is backed up by research, carried out last year, which Lidl proudly hosts on its website. Independent market data agency Taylor McKenzie tasked 295 shoppers to purchase 50 staple food items with Lidl proving quickest by 20 minutes with the shop completed in 49 minutes. Second place went to Sainsbury’s in 1 hour 9 minutes; Morrison’s with 1 hour 11 minutes was third; and shoppers took most time at Tesco’s and Asda joint fourth in 1 hour 18 minutes.The figures showed the average Lidl shopper could save around 25 hours a year.
I only visit Lidl when I drop my son at school (his dad works a four on/four off shift and so he spends time there too). He is left at the school gates at 8am, I then nip down the hill to Lidl and am usually there before 8.10am (when it’s quiet), shopping done by 8.30am, home at my desk with coffee and breakfast before 9am. Perfect.
The single biggest driver for many Lidl users. When my Sainsbury’s shop the other day came to £80, I did have a moan to my partner (the reason we were in this particular store as he remains a loyal customer as well as the fact it was a Saturday and I wanted to be assured of a space in the car park and a relatively manageable queue, which isn’t guaranteed at such times in Lidl) that it would have been half the price in Lidl. My favourite Lidl buy is their ‘Simply Sumptuous honey peanut crunch’ it costs just £1.19 and was on offer for just £1 the other day!
Your choice is restricted and there is obviously a lack of brands we are used to seeing on the shelves of the big four. But that’s the point. As I was listening to Nick Ferrari’s radio show on LBC debate the topic this morning, a caller summed it up nicely, ‘why do I need 30 choices of rice, three will do’, quite!
5) Stick my fingers up at the ‘big four’
The rebel in me still burns and when there’s an opportunity to swim against the tide and say ‘ya boo sucks’ to big businesses who have been taking my hard earned cash for years, hell, I’m going to enjoy that while it lasts!