The photos show what it’s like to shop at Aldi rival Lidl, from bustling aisles to private label products that look like big brands.


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German discount grocery chain Lidl is rapidly expanding in the United States. It opened its first U.S. store in 2017 and surpassed 100 stores in three years. By comparison, Aldi has more than 2,100 stores in the United States.

Lidl store in Poland.

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images


source: Riddle, Riddleinsider, Aldi

Globally, Lidl has more than 11,500 stores in approximately 30 countries. I visited the Lidl store in the UK, which has more than 800 branches. I shop at Lidl from time to time, but I’ve never been to this particular store at Limehouse in London before.

Lidl External Symbols

The exterior of the Riddle store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


source: Riddle

The store wasn’t very big, but there was quite a lot of parking.

Riddle Appearance

The parking lot of the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


Outside the shop was a shop selling gardening supplies.

Riddle Appearance

The exterior of the Riddle store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


Had to go through a separate gate for entry and exit, a bit reminiscent of airport security.

Riddle Appearance

The entrance to the Riddle store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


…and once in, you had to go through the ticket gates too. I don’t come across one of these products very often in the grocery store, and I wasn’t sure what their purpose was.

Riddle entrance

The entrance to the Riddle store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean


The rest of the store was equally chaotic. Designated as Lidl’s “pick of the week,” there were piles of crates full of discounted fresh produce on the front, but some were empty and stacked at a delightful angle.

Lidl picks in aisle mess this week

An empty box at the Riddle store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


This included garlic, eggplant, and orange, which varied between 28% and 46%, but eggplant was noticeably smaller.

Messy pile of fruit and vegetable crates

Products from the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


Lidl does not unpack the product from the shelf, but displays the product in the box and box it was shipped to.

Goods packaged in Lidl, passage of chips

The product aisle of the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


But this meant the store was full of empty boxes.

In the empty box

An empty box at the Riddle store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


In some cases, they occupied the aisles.

pile of

A chest in the aisle of the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


Cages were scattered around the store, where employees stocked up shelves and removed empty packaging.

Lidl cage full

A chest in the aisle of the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


Some aisles were cleaner.

fresh

Snack corner at the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


One of these sections was a double-sided aisle covered with orange labels that contained products such as beer, olive oil, hand cream and car air freshener. It wasn’t clear why these products were on display here, if they were on a discount, if their expiration date was approaching, or if they were simply emptying out new stock.

Lidl beer and olive oil on the shelf

A promotional display at the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


There was also space for Dutch and Belgian items. The freezer section had similar displays of Dutch and Belgian products such as waffles, fish bites and frikandelens.

Lidl Dutch and Belgian items

Promotional display of Dutch and Belgian products in the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


For example, you can buy a chocolate windmill. Products were all branded “Dutch Style”, “Belgian Style” or “Original Belgian Specialties”.

Lidl Chocolate Windmill

Promotional display of Dutch and Belgian products in the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


This section also had a box full of very randomly organized items along with a 30% off sticker.

Lidl Reduction Items

Discounted items from the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

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However, there were stacks of products at the end of the other aisles as well as the two-sided aisle, similarly labeled “if you don’t have it” with an orange label.

Lidl clearance section

A promotional display at the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

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… in electronics, kitchenware and beauty products …

Riddle Middle Aisle

The “middle of Lidl” aisle in the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

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… in “Frozen” pajamas …

Riddle Middle Aisle

The “middle of Lidl” aisle in the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


…and a leaf blower. The aisle was designated “Thursday” or “Sunday” and I thought it was time for stock to be replaced.

Riddle Middle Aisle

The “middle of Lidl” aisle in the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


Elsewhere in the store there were two boxes full of 99p cleaning supplies.

99p Lidl Box

A promotional display at the Lidl store in Limehouse, London.

Grace Dean/The Insider


The store also declares that the huge outdoor sign facing the main road is “big on British,” and some of its packaging is dotted with union jacks.

Union Jack, Lidl Inside And Outside Showing Butter Pack

Lidl highlighted the British origins of some of their products.

Grace Dean/The Insider


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