Lidl Unlocking New London Sites.

The discounter’s upcoming store openings in London and the south east are increasingly part of residential developments, according to reports in The Guardian.

Increasing presence in London and south east

Lidl first announced its plans to expand in the capital in 2015, seeking 281 sites within the M25. However, progress has been slow, with restrictions and competition over suitable sites.

By developing new homes, offices, hotels and schools as part of the plans for new stores, Lidl is unlocking new opportunities. This is a widely adopted strategy amongst grocery retailers in the UK.

Mixed-use sites in Lidl’s development pipeline include Richmond, Epsom and Dartford.

UK managing director Christian Härtnagel said “We’re proud that our stores are increasingly helping to pave the way for mixed-use developments…It continues to mean a great deal to use that we are able to support many of the communities that we’re a part of by providing added value above and beyond affordable food.”

Store proximity: a major growth opportunity

Whether leading the developments or working with third parties, these sites will bring added complexity and cost to Lidl.

However, increasing store proximity remains a major growth opportunity for both Aldi and Lidl, particularly in this underpenetrated region. 53% of food discount shoppers in London agree they would use Aldi and Lidl more if there was a store nearer to them, according to IGD’s ShopperVista research.

As new-build stores, they will be to Lidl’s 2.0 size, space and store-fit specifications. Their positions within housing and community developments will support increased frequency of visit, as well as bigger basket shops.