Lidl to rebuild Luton Store
In 2015, Lidl, the well known discount grocery retailer, put forward plans to knock down and rebuild its Luton store (located in Frances Street, Luton, LU1 1HU), which is approximately 30 miles outside of central London.
Lidl, a German born company, is systematic in its simplistic approach to grocery retailing, with customer satisfaction at it's centre. Its key strategic aims have proved very successful (as the expansion of it's stores across Europe shows), and include simple, but effective approaches to what some may consider an overly complex grocery sector:
- Keeps product ranges simple, to avoid overloading ranges for customers.
- Operates an efficient and fully stocked distribution network of lorries.
- Provides both branded and own products at low prices.
- Manages and trains a multi-functional workforce providing an efficient shop floor service.
As a result, and presumably based on this strategy, Lidl decided upon a novel approach to expansion of its retail property portfolio - a 'rip it down and start again' approach rather than a 'bolt on' one.
The existing store in Luton, with a retail space of approximately 1,500 square metres, will be expanded in the rebuild to an approximate retail space of 2,460 square metres, giving greater scope for higher stock levels, as opposed to an increase of the product range. This strategy is to allow customers to find and purchase what they require in one visit (rather than needing return visits for out of stock items), and which hopefully will result in improved customer satisfaction.
Whilst the store will be expanded, the parking area will only be marginally reduced, resulting in a loss of just 10 car parking spaces - a difficult achievement - particularly with the planned store expansion being approximately 60% greater than the previous store.
The expansion plans were submitted to Luton Borough Council 2015 and it is expected that a decision will be made in February 2016.
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