I wrote a presentation over 3 years ago for a client about how the discount retailers were rising from the ashes of the recession, somewhat like a phoenix from the flames. Meanwhile those without a distinguishing offer were struggling and failing. At that point I predicted that we would see a continuation of that trend because the recession had taught consumers; when you spend less you don’t automatically get less.
The headlines in the two weeks that have followed Christmas 2016 have indeed shown us that the love of discount retailing gives no indication of abatement. Both Aldi and Lidl reported double digit sales growth amongst headlines such as ‘A Merry Lidl Christmas’. However, the savvier reader will have noticed that neither Lidl nor Aldi reported on their like for like performance. Both retailers have been the subject of rapid expansion which shows no sign of slowing down, Lidl plan to open 50 new stores in 2017 and Aldi plan to open 70.