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My nearest store of lidl pronounced lid-dell is a few metres away from the bottom of my street in a small town called Dalry in North Ayrshire in The South West- Central Scotland. With a population of around approx 7,500, until only November 2009 we only had a small Co-op Retail outlet that you could barely call it a supermarket at all. The Co-op had plans to build a new retail supermarket for our town but Tesco decided to build and open a new Tesco Store in a Town called Kilbirnie complete with petrol station/carwash, so the Co-op dropped their plans. So we wee left as usual to shop at the inadequate expensive Co-op store and the dear small independents or continue to travel out of town to other supermarkets in Ayrshire or Renfrewshire.
I thought it was bad news and decided to start up a shoppers forum but although to improving shopping facilities and try and persuade other supermarkets to come visit our town and hopefullyopen up one of their stores here as there was a real need. The shoppers forum flopped because although people telephoned me for support for it they were unwilling to do something practicle to help bring it about when I tried to arrange meetings. So I passed the idea onto the local community council and wrote to the local newspapers highlighting the fact. The local community council decided to support me and my supermarket quest.
A short time later both German Discount retailers Aldi and Lidl expressed an interest in opening their stores at opposite sides of our town. Lidl had an open day in our town hall for local people to come and see the plans and taste some food samples and some got free bags of groceries. Aldi however didn't do this and seemed to be more secretative in their plans. However it needed council planning permission. Both got turned down, but both appealed to what was known as then as The Scottish Executive. Both stores had the backing of most people in the town with Lidl getting the most of local support. At the end of December 2007 I received a letter stating that Lidl's plans were granted but Aldi was refused. We had won a new supermarket to be opened in our town against faceless bureaucurats who did not cae about shopping needs in our town. People power won the day. Eleven month slater in November 2008 our new Lidl Store opened despite predijuices like it won't pay or it's German (racist because of the two world wars with some locals). It opened with two members of the local community council doing the honours. I have kept my word that if they opened here I would shop in it and I shop in it regulary with my soon wife to be, nearly every week to do a proper shop even though we sometimes have to go toTesco or Asda or Morrisons to get something we cannot get at Lidl or Aldi. Although We did not get our local Aldi there a quite a few elsewhere in Saltcoats, Irvine, Prestwick and Paisley and Kilmarnock if we are needing specials from their shops. We even had the windows broken by vandals at our Lidl store but it stopped after they put up shutters and switched off the lights and caught the culprit doing it which was totally unnecessary as we do not stay in a bad area. The trouble doesn't happen now hank god or they would have pulled out by now.
As you may find with Lidl or Aldi's is both are similar German and Discount retailers similar in size and what they do is a copy cat of each other but different owners. But Aldi doesn't realy do the big name brands and do their own label. Both Lidl and Aldi own label food stuffs are cheap but of very high quality. I have not had a bad thing bought from any of both supermarkets. Lidl does more branded goods alongside their own brands than Aldi does. The layout on pallets etc of the stores are similar. Yes you will pay £1 coin for a trolley but make sure you keep a trolley token in your purse or wallet. My local Lidl does have baskets so it is worth while asking the store manager or contact your regional office on www.lidl.co.uk and asking for them. The trolley pound slots means that in the end when you are by with your Lidl or Aldi shopping experience that you return it. Also expect to take your own bags with you or you will end up paying for them at the counter. Both companies publish weekly leaflets with forthcoming deals so it gives you an idea with whats coming with special offers on food and non food. It is good quality as well. My recent purchase this week was a food steamer for cooking meat and veg was £16.99 out of Lidl. I have bought a lot of non food items and clothing including footwear like cycling shoes which are really smart and comfortable. I also bought things like a microwave at £39.99 out of Aldi last year and its a good one. You WILL save money going to these shops than the bigger supermarket chains.
I like the fruit and veg, Lidl's Granny Smith Apples are cheap just around a £1 a bag for 7 store them in your fridge for freshness, and are selling Scottish Strawberries (2 Punnets for £2). I like their fruit and veg, their range soups, packets of cold meats. Their soups, tinned foods, breakfast cereals fruit juices are all of a really good quality. Their dairy products like milk, cheese, butter and meats like sausages and haggis are al locally sourced even their potatoes are Brittish or Scottish in origin. They have a great selections of red, rose and white wines Cimarossa being their own good quality wines for around £3 per bottle beside ones like Blossom Hill. Their bottles of spirits, bottle and canned beers and lagers are plentyiful to try and choose from. Their big 1.5 litre of Spanish Sangaria is really beautiful and worth it if you want a BBQ.
The stores are clean, tidy and brightly lighted enough, staff friendly. If you don't know the price or size of a garment, there are size conversions posted up above to suit all European shoppers. You can pice an item at the cashiers till like I had to do with the food steamer.
One of the things to do at the tills is load all your shopping onto the coveyer belt inbetween the dividers, and when its your time to be served quickly push your trolley into the grove entrance in at the back of the cashiers till and start quickly put your items that you have purchased by the cashier scanning them , you load them back into your trolley. After your transactions go over to the dispatch benches at the front windows and bag your shopping yourself. make sure you have enough bags to cover your shopping, and only take cash or debit cards and offer you cashback too.
Lidl and Aldi are not great big stores so don't expect to find EVERYTHING UNDER THE ONE ROOF. Both supermarkets seem to have plenty of disabled or parent and child parking close to the entrances, bicycle locks. There is ample enough parking for well abled people. The store aisles are wide enough for wheelchairs but no wheelchair trollies like the bigger supermarkets have. The customer areas are all in the ground floor and the entrance doors are electric sliding automatic doors so you could enter with a electric disabled person's wheelchair buggy car. The car park is well lighted and landscaped. There are a limited amount of staff working in the stores in one shift but you can make it a pleasant enough shopping experience if you you go with someone who uses these stores a lot to show you the ropes. You pay for what you get but you get quality iteams and save money. I have sen people who are on tight budgets to lairds and the landed Gentry using them too. Forghet about snobbery, if you rather get your shopping cheaper withpout compromising the quality I suggest you shop at Lidl or Aldi although I think Lidl pips Aldi at the post. But Aldi does sell rather good computer hardware by Meridon. I just wished they built an Aldi too in my hometown. Look, beggars can't be choosers when shopping at Lidl or Aldi you get what you pay for And I find it really reasonable and pleasant enough. They recently published a leaflet tellin you of their stores near holiday destinations on the European Continent and the British Isles as their stores are the same the world over.
Alhough WE got a Lidl supermarket it meant that our only sole petrol station got demolished and now have to travel to get fuel for our cars. Anyone want to open up a petrol station in our town?