Lidl is famed for many things but is probably not the first port of call when looking for jumpers – despite the random gems that can be found in the middle aisle.
But it was strong demand for Christmas jumpers in the so-called ‘aisle of wonder’ that helped the discount supermarket chain to notch up a record number of festive shoppers and a rise in sales.
The firm posted a 2.6 per cent year-on-year rise in UK sales over the four weeks to December 26 – up 21 per cent when compared with pre-pandemic levels two years earlier.
Lidl said its Christmas jumpers were the fastest-selling item in its ‘Middle of Lidl’ aisle, with around one sold every two seconds on its first day of sale.
The group saw the highest ever number of shoppers visiting its UK stores in the week leading up to Christmas, with footfall up 14 per cent on its busiest day on December 23.
It claimed to notch up £21 million of spending from customers switching away from other grocers in December.
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive of Lidl in the UK, said: “Despite ongoing challenges with the pandemic, customers continued to find ways to celebrate this Christmas.”
He added: “As inflation continues to rise, I want to reassure each and every one of our customers that we remain resolute in our promise of being the destination for the lowest grocery prices in the market.”
The figures follow rival Aldi’s Christmas trading update on Monday, showing a 0.4 per cent rise year-on-year in December.
Market leaders Sainsbury’s and Tesco will also report their festive figures this week, on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Lidl – which is part of the German retail group Schwartz – has more than 890 stores in the UK after opening eight new sites, with plans for more shops to launch in January, including in London and Liverpool.