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Lidl had historically built a shopper base with a high proportion of smaller volume, but high frequency customers – i.e. the basket shopper. Customers would often go instore to pick up the latest promotion, and while there, pick up some of their daily shop. Until 2016, the vast majority of their marketing and advertising spend focused on footfall driving promotions, which encouraged and reinforced this type of behaviour.
This approach was successful in driving penetration, resulting in nearly 7 in 10 Irish shoppers visiting Lidl, second only to Tesco in the market. However, with no significant plans for new stores or no changes to the line-up of products, we needed to develop new strategies to grow the Lidl business, particularly as we were at almost saturation point in terms of penetration given Lidl’s footprint.
In previous years, we had invested in addressing quality mis-perceptions about Lidl which had built up good trust in the brand. However, this was still not translating into trolley shopping.
Despite significant challenges, including increased competitor aggression, no share of voice advantage and a trend in consumers reducing the number of stores visited (favouring those they shopped more heavily with), we bucked the trend and grew Lidl’s sales by almost 6 x times the market growth rate by devising an innovative and creative approach to trolley shopping, like nothing ever seen before.
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