I was having a conversation with a lady shopkeeper the other day, about how the credit crunch was affecting her business. This led us on to discussing general changes in food and clothes shopping behaviours in the town. She came out with the funniest and actually very insightful comment about the budget supermarket, Lidl –
“it’s not like how it used to be you know, it’s absolutely full of ordinary middle class people like me”. She went on to explain that not so long ago, the supermarket had mainly been associated with its local demographic – one of the poorest areas in the city. However, she also remarked that despite its associations, it had always stocked some great goods at bargain prices – and there were a whole group of friends and people in the know, who took advantage of this.
I’ve only ever shopped in Lidl a few times, but I must say I was impressed with the quality and range of produce on offer : cheap fruit and veg in good unit sizes (such as punnets of rocket), great gherkins and juices as well as a myriad of continental style goods…basically the kind of stuff you would expect to see in a typically middle class shopping basket. (OK – there are some pretty crazy things too).
Despite their slightly out of the way locations, thrifty decor and sometimes comical product offer (flippers, mask and diving kit, anyone?), will the interesting and at times cosmopolitan (and bonkers) groceries at rock bottom prices drive Lidl to become the new Sainsburys?