Lidl is facing a boycott from hauliers across the UK which threatens to see goods including vegetables, bread and toilet roles absent from its shelves.
According to The Grocer, the UK’s leading haulage companies are choosing to boycott the discount grocer as they prioritise more cooperative supermarkets amid the ongoing driver shortage crisis.
The shortage forcing chilled haulage companies like Fowler Welch, FreshLinc and Turners to cut deliveries to certain retailers, prioritising their severely limited resources for companies working with them help alleviate the impact of the crisis.
However, Lidl is understood to have remained inflexible maintaining policies such as rejecting lorries that turn up late to distribution centres.
“There’s a bit of a boycott against delivering to Lidl because they’re being inflexible and not listening to what’s going on,” director at one haulage company told The Grocer.
“If you prioritise who you want to do and who you don’t, then Lidl always falls at the bottom of the list.”
Lidl said that it had been experiencing stock shortages in recent weeks due to “disruptions to supply chain networks”.
A spokesperson added: “Nevertheless, we are aware that there are still ongoing issues for some suppliers, and we are committed to working through these with them to help find suitable solutions.”
Other retailers like Booths and Spar are also understood to have been hit hard by the driver shortage, seeing companies prioritise bigger players.
It comes as communities secretary Robert Jenrick called on local councils to disregard rules which “restrict the time and number of deliveries from lorries and other delivery vehicles” stores can receive over the next six months.
Jenrick urged councils to ensure these rules, designed to protect local residents’ sleep, do not become a “barrier to deliveries” during the crisis.