Posted by on October 24, 2017 at 11:34 am

David Harvey

Expert in consumer behaviour David Harvey comments on more affluent families preferring to use discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl.

“The market research company, Mintel, last week reported that a higher proportion of wealthy people shop at discount stores Aldi and Lidl than those on the lowest incomes.  77% of households earning £50,000 or more have used these stores, compared to 73% of households on incomes of less than £15,000.

A marginal difference perhaps, but it demonstrates that the discounters now have a broad appeal across different income groups and that wealthy shoppers enjoy a bargain as much as anyone else.

Aldi and Lidl are able to offer low prices on groceries by restricting the range of goods on offer in generally smaller stores, compared to the big 4 supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison’s.  They also avoid stocking famous brands and it looks as if they have convinced their customers that this restricted choice and floor space does not compromise on quality.

The recession of 10 years ago broke people’s shopping habits and loyalty to the Big 4, as they looked around for the best prices from a variety of outlets.  This ‘promiscuity’ has continued and the problem that the Big 4 supermarkets have is that they are stuck with too many big stores and big overheads in an era when the traditional ‘big weekly shop’ is in the decline.

Another reason why wealthy customers enjoy shopping at these discounters is their clever use of short-term special offers.  Gadgets, food mixers, power tools, ski gear and even horse-riding equipment have all been on sale at Aldi.  The fact that these products are literally piled up in the central aisle with no fancy display, creates a sense of urgency and discovery for the shopper.

By regularly changing these non-food items and promoting them in their free brochure, Aldi have mastered the art of persuading wealthy people to keep coming back for more.  Nobody wants to miss out on a bargain and this is clearly more important to today’s middle class shopper than any anxiety about brand snobbery.”

Read the full story.

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2 responses to “One in three Aldi and Lidl shoppers is ‘upper or middle class’”

  1. David Harvey says:

    Thanks Robert and yes, you are correct. Wealthy car owners can afford to visit more outlets more frequently. Non-drivers are restricted by walking distances, public transport routes and the need to stay within a tighter budget.

  2. Dr Robert Nicholls says:

    Interesting article. I think these figures should also take into account that the middle and upper classes are more likely to own cars and are therefore able to drive to Aldi and Lidl. As fewer working class people (particularly working class pensioners) are drivers, they are less likely to use the out-of-town supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.

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