Friday 16 November 2018

Lidl Ireland boss aims to tap into healthy convenience food trend to tempt shoppers

Lidl managing director JP Scally says the supermarket chain will increase its focus on healthy convenience food. Photo: David Conachy
Lidl managing director JP Scally says the supermarket chain will increase its focus on healthy convenience food. Photo: David Conachy

Samantha McCaughren - Business Editor

The managing director of the Irish division of German discounter Lidl, JP Scally, says Lidl will ramp up its convenience food and drinks offering, with a focus on healthy eating.

He said that the company historically had not been "fantastic at providing convenience food so we're developing that range significantly at the moment", he said.

"We have already expanded it more significantly over the last number of months, adding more and more lines.

"I would say a lot of people have noticed it with some of the lines we have listed and they'll continue to see more and more of this and probably more prominent placements in store as well."

However, Scally said he does not see Lidl pursuing the forecast shift to online shopping. He said that the group, which has 155 stores in Ireland, sees much greater opportunity in expanding the number of traditional shops it owns throughout the country.

Scally said that Irish people's preferences for fresh produce meant that online food shopping will not be a priority.

"We have to bear in mind that online is still less than 2pc of the Irish food market," he told the Sunday Independent.

"So although people have switched to online very much, be it for holidays or for clothes shopping in particular, food is different and I think that won't change in the foreseeable future.

"People want to see the quality of the fresh fruit and veg that they're buying, they want to pick up their piece of meat and see it before they put it in their trolley and that's something that online shopping doesn't offer, obviously.

"So I don't believe that we're going to switch to a larger promotion of online in the foreseeable future," Scally said.

Lidl has estimated revenues of €1.4bn in Ireland and a market share of 11.4pc

Sunday Indo Business

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