I’m very excited. Our new ‘Lidl‘ store is opening and I can’t wait to see it. We had an old Lidl, but it’s expanded and revamped and has lots of shiny glass and looks huge! My anticipation over this event got me thinking: what do we love about so-called ‘discount supermarkets’ and is our affection waning?
I (along with much of the population, I suspect) was a little suspicious of these discount supermarkets when they first started to spring up in our towns. Just who is this ‘Aldi’ and why is he bringing his European wares to England? I’d seen Lidl on holiday abroad, so I thought I had an idea of what it would be like and I wasn’t sure it would tempt me away from my love affair with Asda.
Yet, when a branch of Lidl eventually opened just down the road, it didn’t take too long for curiosity to get the better of me. I ventured in to see what the growing fuss was about.
In most traditional British supermarkets, the first thing you see on entry is colourful fruit and veg. Apparently, this is to entice customers into the store. My Lidl had chocolate and sweets. I think the discounters are on to a trick here; I’m much more tempted by chocolate and biscuits than peppers and pineapples (to my shame). And, to really get the taste buds going, my store has a bakery right by the door. The first thing that hits you as you enter is the smell of chocolate croissants! Genius! It takes a hell of a lot of willpower to ignore those, I’ll tell you (I rarely succeed)!
Once I’d stepped in, there was no going back. I wasn’t breaking up with Asda, but I had to admit to a bit on the side with Lidl, especially when I found the ‘specials’ aisle. And then we got an Aldi too, and it all became a bit of a threesome!
I asked some fellow bloggers what it is they enjoy about the discount supermarkets…
The specials aisles are very popular, it seems! Simone from Married to a Geek says she often finds gems there. Abi from Something About Baby agrees, saying that they always have things you never knew you needed, but you love it because it’s so cheap! Lauren from Sophie’s Nursery found a great present for her daughter’s birthday – an entire kids’ gardening set for just £6! Kelly from The Best Version of Kelly is another fan of bargain-hunting in the specials aisles.
In fact, Kelly is very much a fan! She says that the discounters offer terrific value for money and that the produce is great quality, often lasting longer than that from regular supermarkets. Jess, from Tantrums to Smiles agrees that the value for money is brilliant, especially when trying to feed a hungry family! She adds that the variety makes a change too. In regular stores, it’s tempting to stick to the same products and brands. Stores such as Lidl have themed weeks to encourage you to buy something new.
Both Kelly, and Wendy, from Daisies and Pie like that the discount stores tend to be smaller than the super, or even hypermarkets. This makes it quicker to whizz round, and, if you forget something, it’s not too much of an effort to go back and find it. My local Asda is huge. Massive. I’ve never timed it (and maybe I will now!), but I bet it takes a good few minutes to walk from one end to the other. I know I can’t be arsed to go back for the potatoes I forgot at the start when I’m already down by the George department!
Own brand products got a few mentions; Collette from Magic Freebies loves Lidl’s own brand toiletries and claims they work just as well as named brands, but for a fraction of the price. She loves the authentic German products on offer too, and finds the chocolates make an inexpensive yet sophisticated gift! And we can’t not mention the Mamia nappies from Aldi, which I used on Small and often win awards over the premium brands. Beth, from Twinderelmo found them to be a Godsend when she had her twins and they went through ‘millions’!
Finally, Beth from Bammboo commented that she likes the checkouts, which are much faster than the regular stores. She’s not wrong. It can’t only be me who has to mentally prepare before it’s my turn at the till? Please tell me I’m not the only one who has a race with the cashier to see if I can get everything bagged in my trolley before it all piles up at the end?
So, whether it’s the simpler layout, interesting range of products, value for money, or that suck-you-in specials aisle, it seems our love affair with the discount supermarkets is still going strong!
If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy Childhood Nostalgia to Baffle Our Kids.