If you haven’t heard of Lidl yet, you’re about to. The German supermarket chain is the largest discount grocery store in Europe—boasting 10,000 stores in 27 different countries—and it has officially arrived stateside, as of June 15.
Known for its high quality products at actually affordable prices, Lidl offers all the perks of a boutique food market—including locally sourced produce, and a wine range that's won over 200 awards in blind taste competitions—with the convenience of a budget store chain like Ikea or Target. It’s like Trader Joe’s—but instead of artisanal cheeses, and everything bagel seasoning (which we love!), you get the essentials.
In fact, the highly curated, uber efficient shopping experience is one of the things Lidl is known for. Streamlined store layouts provide just six wide and easy to shop aisles, in lieu of the typical supermarket labyrinth. As an initiative to reduce waste, customers are encouraged to bring their own bags, and merchandising is done more efficiently. (For example, you won’t find food pyramids in the stores.)
“We often joke, who needs 50 different brands of ketchup? We focus on delivering our customers the best options, rather than every option, so we can deliver a simpler experience with better quality at lower prices,” says Lidl's communications director William Harwood. “We’re focused on reducing many of the compromises customers face around quality, price, and convenience.”
It looks like this focus on efficiency is paying off: Lidl currently holds second place on the Global Simplicity Index. For reference, that’s above Google, Amazon, and even Ikea.
Another reason to shop Lidl? It’s way more than just a grocery store. The “Lidl Surprises" section is a weekly rotating selection of non food items, ranging from household goods to beauty products. These amazing products include the Q10 Face Cream, recently voted one of the top face creams in Spain, as well as an upcoming fashion line created in partnership with Heidi Klum. All these items are available in stores while supplies last— but given Lidl’s prices, we suspect that won’t be long.
“We really invest in the quality of these items, too—our toddler's line features 100 percent cotton clothing, and is free of PVC and phthalates,” adds Harwood. “We've even had a woman email us about an aromatherapy diffuser she bought almost a decade ago as a promotional item. It had worked so well and lasted so long, she wanted to know if we'd be selling it again!”
Plus, there’s the obvious benefit of having a European supermarket open in the US: European specialty food. While about 80 percent of the store’s offerings is sourced locally and domestically in America, Lidl also brings in authentic Italian cheeses and wines, and Belgian chocolates. This means more gourmet items at the same affordable price.
If a one stop shopping experience sounds interesting, be sure to check out this map for a full listing of all the 21 stores currently open in the United States. Don’t see your city? Not to worry: Lidl has committed to opening up to 100 stores along the East Coast by this time next summer.
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