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

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Sa­man­tha Mc­caugh­ren

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

Lidl man­ag­ing di­rec­tor JP Scally says the su­per­mar­ket chain will in­crease its fo­cus on healthy con­ve­nience food

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