Lidl Electronic Shelf Labels

Source: Lidl

Lidl said customers hadn’t noticed the difference

Lidl is replacing paper pricing tags with electronic shelf labels across its entire UK estate.

It follows a trial in over 35 stores, including in Epsom and Tooting, which The Grocer exclusively revealed last year.

Lidl said the rollout would save over 206 tonnes of carbon annually through paper and packaging reductions, as well as giving staff more time to help shoppers instead of manually changing tags.

It said the trial had shown how the technology could bolster store operations without impacting customer experience, with over two-thirds of shoppers surveyed saying they hadn’t noticed the change.

Lidl becomes the second major supermarket to roll out ESLs to all stores after Aldi, which did so last year. The technology is seen as particularly useful in the discounters’ pursuit of efficiencies, as well as in competing with each other on any price changes.

Other supermarkets have been hesitant to fully embrace the technology. Asda last year pulled the plug on a single-store trial in Stevenage, which at the time of its launch in 2020 was the biggest in the UK.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and M&S have also trialled ESLs.

Lidl said ESLs would be gradually introduced in all stores in the coming months, with the full rollout expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“As a discounter, sustainability and efficiency run deep in our DNA,” said Isaac Ekpenyong, Lidl GB director of sales and organisation.

“Making changes to how we operate, no matter how big or small, allows us to enhance the overall experience for those shopping with us.

“In this particular case, we’re empowering colleagues by freeing up more of their time to dedicate to tasks that directly benefit our customers. But our transition to electronic shelf labels is more than that; it is another step we are taking to reduce our impact on the environment by curbing paper and ink consumption.”