Lidl is scrapping plans to launch into online grocery in the UK as it dissolves its digital logistics arm and pledges to focus “on our bricks-and-mortar business”.
Lidl Digital Logistics, which the German discounter set up in 2018 to explore expanding in to online grocery, is now being officially shut down according to The Grocer.
The news comes as the UK’s largest grocers, including Lidl’s closest rival Aldi, have scrambled to expand their online offerings during the pandemic.
While Aldi has introduced both a new click-and-collect service and a growing Deliveroo partnership, Lidl hinted at following suit.
It launched a click-and-collect trial in Poland, partnered with Deliveroo rival Buymie here in the UK, and advertised for a number of ecommerce roles towards the end of last year.
However, the closure of its Digital Logistics arm suggests any further significant expansion into the online sphere is no longer on the cards.
“This company was originally set up in 2018 to house a series of digital logistics assets,” said a Lidl spokeswoman.
“However, in line with our business model and maintaining simple and streamlined operations, the decision has been made to close the legal entity, but to keep exploring suitable digital opportunities within existing structure, as we did with the successful launch of our Lidl Plus rewards app.
“Our focus remains on our bricks-and-mortar business, which we see as presenting significant growth opportunity.”
It is understood that despite its best efforts, Lidl has been unable to find a way to delivery groceries without raising its prices, which are its key selling point.