This year’s must-have product for Lidl shoppers was not the stollen or glühwein of the German supermarket, but its branded Christmas sweater, which set a sharp increase in sales this festive season.
Lidl had a 2.6 per cent increase in sales in the UK in the four weeks leading up to December 26, 2021, representing a 21 per cent increase compared to pre-pandemic levels from two years ago.
The supermarket revealed that its Christmas sweaters, launched in 2020, were fastest selling item in the so-called “middle of Lidl” corridor, which offers an eclectic selection of non-grocery items. Lidl said it sold the equivalent of a jumper every two seconds on the first day they were on sale.
Despite the festive cheers, the company’s CEO in the UK warned that he would stick to a promise of being the country’s cheapest grocery store as inflation continues to put pressure on household finances.
Christian Härtnagel said: “As inflation continues to rise, I want to assure each and every one of our customers that we remain determined in our promise to be the destination of the lowest grocery prices on the market.
“Despite persistent challenges with the pandemic, customers continued to find ways to celebrate this Christmas.”
It’s coming the next day rival discounter Aldi made a similar promise. The company’s UK CEO Giles Hurley said his company “will always offer the lowest prices for groceries, no matter what.”
It will put further pressure on both chains’ “Big Four” rivals to make similar commitments to keep prices low. Of those, Sainsbury’s and Tesco will start a round of financial Christmas reporting later this week.
Lidl claimed it had attracted £ 21 million in spending from customers who had switched from other supermarkets In December.
It recorded the highest number of shoppers ever visiting its UK stores in the week leading up to Christmas, with a 14 per cent increase on the busiest day on December 23rd year-on-year.
Lidl said lamb proved to be a popular alternative to the traditional turkey for Christmas lunch, with sales rising 21 percent year-on-year while sales of its classic Christmas puddings rose 23 percent.
It said customers “clearly felt generous” during the period when families were able to meet this year, with more than eight million Christmas cards and one million rolls of wrapping paper sold.
Lidl – which is part of the German retail group Schwartz – has more than 890 stores in the UK after opening eight new sites, with plans to launch more stores in January, including in London and Liverpool.