Players in discounters are increasingly eager to show their unique value to customers, as their “lowest price” positioning is failing to boost discounters’ growth much beyond what modern grocery retailing overall is recording, if at all. For example, Lidl opened Lidl Zero, a new outlet in Almere that is fully carbon and energy neutral, driving sustainability in retail.
There is a growing body of shoppers who are not just looking for the lowest prices for in their groceries, but also want a pleasant experience, extra services and a broad selection of goods and premium products. This is luring customers away from discounters and towards supermarkets/hypermarkets, and, to some extent, convenience stores.
Discounters benefited from the closures of foodservice outlets and lockdowns in 2020 as consumers cooked and generally spent more time in their homes. In addition, although the economy in the Netherlands was less impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than in many other countries, nevertheless, more local consumers faced economic uncertainty and restricted budgets in 2020 than usual.
Aldi is planning to open a new checkout-free store in the centre of Utrecht in 2022. It is similar to an Amazon Go outlet in that customers scan the app to gain access to the store and then everything they put in the shopping basket is automatically added to their virtual shopping cart, with the process working on the basis of sensors.
Discounters in the Netherlands have historically used a shop design that has been focused on efficiency, rather than thinking too much of the shopper. Discounters are increasingly recognising that they are competing with supermarkets, which, like the discounters, often offer low prices, but, unlike the discounters, offer a superior experience, with a more logical and easy-to-understand shop layout.
Many consumers in the Netherlands have the impression that discounters are stocking products that are of a lower quality than those found in supermarkets/hypermarkets and/or do not like the shopping experience at discounters. Discounters are therefore trying to improve their brand image, showing that while they still offer great value for money, they can also compete with supermarkets when it comes to shopping experience.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Discounters industry in Netherlands with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Discounters are retail outlets typically with a selling space of between 400 and 2,500 square metres. Retailers' primary focus is on selling private label products within a limited range of food/beverages/tobacco and other groceries at budget prices. Discounters may also sell a selection of non-groceries, frequently as short-term special offers. Discounters can be classified as hard discounters and soft discounters. Hard discounter: first introduced by Aldi in Germany, and also known as limited-line discounters. Retail outlets, typically of 300-900 square metres, stocking fewer than 1,000 product lines, largely in packaged groceries. Goods are mainly private-label or budget brands. Soft discounter: usually slightly larger than hard discounters, and also known as extended-range discounters. Retail outlets typically stocking 1,000-4,000 product lines. As well as private-label and budget brands, stores commonly carry leading brands at discounted prices. Discounters excludes mass merchandisers and warehouse clubs. Example brands include Aldi, Lidl, Plus, Penny, Netto.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Discounters research and analysis database.
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