Lidl could soon launch an online delivery service in the UK initially delivering wine, spirits and non-food items to shoppers across the country.
The German discounter is understood to be exploring a partnership with logistics giant iForce, which is thought to already handle some of the retailer’s inventory services, according to The Grocer.
IForce, part of the Eddie Stobart group, already handles logistics for Tesco, John Lewis and Waitrose in the UK, suggesting Lidl is likely to be seeking similar services.
Aldi, Lidl’s key rival and fellow German discounter, also uses iForce to provide storage and picking solutions for its wine, spirits and non-food delivery service which launched in 2016.
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It is expected that Lidl’s initial service would also stick to wine, spirits and non-foods.
This comes after reports emerged in October that Lidl was advertising for digital managers for “exciting new ecommerce projects”, while its UK digital director Alex Murray alluded to online plans at an industry conference in March 2018.
That same year Lidl launched Lidl Digital Logistics Great Britain Ltd, adding further weight to speculation a UK launch could be close by.
In Ireland Lidl already delivers groceries within one hour in partnership with local delivery company Buymie, and also operates online shops in countries across Europe including Spain, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Poland.
Despite this German industry publication Lebensmittel Zeitung reported today that Lidl’s head office in Neckarsulm passed off this new partnership as “speculation”, adding that “at the present time, no model has been identified that can be implemented profitably in the long term given the specific market conditions in the UK and the customer structure”.