Lidl to wow middle classes with upmarket French booze

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Is Lidl getting greedy? Despite soaring sales the discount supermarket wants more of the posh shopping trolley - witness a new range of 48 French wines with prices starting from £4.99. It's also planning to open more stores in the capital's posher neighbourhoods.

So will rock-bottom prices for claret and "premium" French booze tempt more middle class Audi and Prius owners through its doors? %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Cheap love

They've already been pushing trolleys down Lidl and Aldi aisles through the recession, carefully picking their way through an underwhelming, sometimes downbeat environment - bleak strip lighting, no muzak.

But a bruising recession and stagnant wages bought new coping strategies: it's okay to be cheap. However as many consumers have discovered, the quality of many Lidl and Aldi offerings are as good, if not better, as similar offerings from the Big Four (Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco).

Lidl and Aldi have made little secret of targeting their new demographic, with lobster (Lidl) and frequent Best Taste awards (both chains have won wine awards). Lidl's new range of French wines span £4.99 for a 2013 Côtes de Gascogne Sauvignon Blanc to £25.99 for a bottle of Haut-Médoc Sociando-Mallet 2008.

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Lidl to wow middle classes with upmarket French booze

This takes time, but once you know the cost of a phone call, putting the dryer on, or a bag of potatoes, it enables you to judge far better how much you can afford to consume.

Once you know the base price, you are in a position to keep your eyes open for a better offer. If you see a discount you can judge for yourself whether it actually constitutes a bargain. For bigger things like utilities it enables you to do a proper price comparison and see if you can cut your bills.

Don't just assume that the premium range is better, try the every-day brand, or even the basic version and see if you spot the difference. Likewise, consider trading down your supermarket from one of the big players to local markets or discounters like Aldi.

If you plan what you buy to match what you actually cook and eat then not only will you be able to budget far more effectively, but you'll also waste much less and find your money goes further without you having to try.

If you can't think of a way to get your meat for less, consider a vegetarian day once a week. If you can't find petrol any cheaper, then work on making your driving as efficient as possible. The more you can think of clever alternatives the less you will have to make painful cuts to make ends meet.


No compromise

Paul Goldschmidt, owner of Chateau Siaurac in the Lalande de Pomerol in the Bordeaux area - he's supplying the German cheapie with a 2007 Réserve de la Baronne for £13.99 - told the Standard some retailers bargain on quality, "but Lidl didn't."

The new move into classy French wine matches Lidl's plans for more central London store coverage. Nationally, Lild and Aldi are getting close to to £10bn sales, taking it close to Morrisons territory.

Recently Ronny Gottschlich, managing director of Lidl UK, told the FT he expected Lidl to generate sales of about £4bn in the year to February 2015, compared with £3.3bn the year before.

But there's another reason for the left-field pull of Lidl and Aldi: it's the slightly foreign mix of pickled gherkins, spanner sets, 2-man tents and super-cheap toothpaste that a British supermarket can't quite match.

Jumble sale appeal, perhaps. It's working.

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