Lidl plans online wine launch as it ups London expansion
Lidl UK is gearing up to launch wine sales online, db understands, as the discounter announces it is upping its spend on London expansion.
Although the retailer has not confirmed any timescale, or clarified exactly what the online offer will be, db understands that wines will be part of the planned online offer, after the online team were at this year’s London Wine Fair.
A spokesman for the retailers told db: “Ecommerce is something we’re exploring and we have a digital team of experts within the business who are looking at this.”
Since Lidl’s UK BWS team confirmed to db in 2015 that it had not ruled out launching an online wine shop, the retailer has consistently denied being on the brink of venturing into ecommerce, saying it was constantly monitoring business activity that could be of “potential interest to our customers”.
Last week The Grocer magazine reported the retailer was ‘actively exploring’ launching online’ as it advertised for an e-commerce project manager and a junior project manager in the UK. The move follows the creation of a holding company last year called Lidl Digital Logistics in the United Kingdom, which was revealed in May 2018 by the Daily Mail’s This is Money.
TheGerman-owned retailer has been ramping up its ecommerce offering in Europe in recent months, launching an online service in Ireland in January in connection with delivery company Buyme, and rolling out groceries online in Spain last month.
However, according to trade publication Ecommerce News, the discounter also stopped selling wine online in the Netherlands and Belgium in May, telling the publication it wanted to concentrate its online offer exclusively on non-food items.
Meanwhile the retailer has announced it is investing around £500m to expand its retail stores into London over the next five years. It is planning to open around 40 new stores in the capital, after shrinking its minimum size requirement for the store footprint.
It has confirmed its first central London store will be on Tottenham Court Road, with other locations in Alperton, East Acton, Hackbridge and Watford.
Currently, the retailer has around 88 stores inside the M25 but none in the capital.