Lidl to wow middle classes with upmarket French booze

48 new French wines offered


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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?

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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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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