German supermarket chain Lidl launches ecommerce platform in Madrid

- August 21, 2018

The German supermarket chain Lidl launches an ecommerce platform in Madrid to sell products online but without a physical store.

Lidl has opened its electronic doors in Madrid to begin selling clothing, appliances, and sporting goods, but Spanish media reports that it will not be selling food products just yet.

On the new website, users can only buy products such as clothes, kitchenware, small appliances, and tools, etc., but not food products, which imply conservation conditions that greatly increase costs, according to El Pais.

The German company is now competing with other distributors such as Carrefour and El Corte Inglés, although these also sell online food products, something that Lidl is not encouraged to do at the moment, according to Spanish media.

However, on the homepage, it does list some promotions for food products such as potatoes, tomatoes, nectarines, and chicken, which are listed as being available on offer only for a limited time, (i.e. August 23-26).

At the moment, the online delivery service will only be available in Madrid and the orders will be managed entirely from a special warehouse located in Seseña, Toledo.

SEUR is the chosen partner for deliveries, and when the tests are over, Lidl will look to extend the possibility of home deliveries to “the whole peninsula,” but the German company has not set any dates.

The products will have the same price and there will be no minimum order, but there is a minimum cost of 3.99 euros per order, regardless of the number of items included.

Deliveries will be made within a period of between one and three days. In addition, customers will be able to see updates on offers that Lidl will publish weekly in its catalog a few days in advance, although the distribution will not be made until they are available in stores.

It will not be possible to collect or return a product purchased online in the stores, but these orders will be managed exclusively through the digital platform.

According to El Pais, ecommerce is a great challenge for supermarket chains and distributors of consumer products. It is an unstoppable trend, but it involves a very important logistics cost that reduces the already very tight profit margins of those products.

Many assure that it is not profitable to distribute food, hygiene, and drugstore products to the home. However, the big groups are in it for the long haul.

For example, the leader, Mercadona, recently tested this new model in specific stores.

Tim Hinchliffe

Tim Hinchliffe the editor in chief at Novobrief. Previously, he was a reporter for The Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. Principal at Espacio.