Navigating Ltd

The environment in Lidl is friendly, fresh, and clean. The most noticeable feature of the store is the floor-to-ceiling window at the front entrance. This lets natural light in, and it makes the space seem welcoming and a bit less clinical than if there were only the bright fluorescent lights. While Lidl is on the smaller side of supermarkets, its ceilings are very high, which makes the space seem larger than it is. The epoxy floors are a medium gray; this absorbs the bright lights from above and makes it seem warmer than if it were stark white, for instance. Another effect of the darker floors is that dirt is not as noticeable, contributing to the clean/fresh image.

There are a lot of uses of lowercase text on the signs throughout the store, supporting the casual, approachable image of the brand. Lidl uses many of the same layout conventions other supermarkets have and use to direct the customer’s buying habits. Like having flowers right up front so the customer is greeted with something pleasant right away, which helps them associate pleasantness with the store. And like keeping the dairy staples in the back so shoppers stopping in for just one thing grab several on the way there. Besides being effective at getting customers to spend more, this also helps customers orient themselves within the store, since they have a vague idea where what they’re looking for is.

The produce and bakery are side by side and the first major sections of the store; I thought a reason they might be placed by the entrance is to further capitalize on that “first impression”, as both of these sections are of the freshest products the store stocks. Lidl has a great bakery, so putting it up front makes sense not just as a selling point, but also to get up a customer’s appetite. For me, whenever I walk into Lidl and smell the bakery with a bunch of warm, fresh-baked goodies, I get a little hungrier, and that prompts me to buy more. Lidl uses a lot of yellow and red in its signage, which, besides being cheery and energetic colors, are linked with triggering hunger in the brain. The signs also include casual, conversational messages to customers, further emphasizing the friendly image. There are some natural textures added here and there to soften some of the store, like brick decals by the bakery and wine section.

I think the only thing I would change about the store is its homeware sections. Most of these are hip-height, one-level surfaces with raised edges and an assortment of items from jackets to cups. This, to me, seems a bit like giant bargain bins and might make customers associate those products with cheapness and lower quality. Maybe that was the intention, though, as the connotation might also just be a good price. Otherwise, I think the store is very well-designed; it is effective in its goal to get customers to spend more, and it also communicates friendliness and approachability.