Tuesday, December 24, 2019

LiDL Food Market First Impressions

I was picking up my prescriptions a few months back when I noticed something strange happening, why is the Best Market closing? Then after a few weeks, it was the topic of conversation. It seems like it was only yesterday when they cut the ribbon to the Best Market it’s been open for 5 or so years and now it's gone. Well as it turns out the german based Lidl purchased 27 Best Markets including all 24 on Long Island.

The transformation started soon after the doors closed and didn't stop for months. Slowly we could see progress and then something came in the mail. We received a postcard of sorts explaining what was coming a (new food market) who they were (Lidl) and when to expect the opening December 18, 2019. The grand opening would be an event with gift cards for the first 200 customers, reusable bags, sweepstakes, Free photos with Santa and live music featuring Billy Joel’s greatest hits seems like they did some homework about Long Island.

The day I made my visit was on Dec 21 around 1:00 PM I walked up to front of the entrance a selected a shopping cart I noticed little plastic cups left in the cart, you know like the kind you get when they hand out samples I counted around 20 so I placed them in another empty cart and went inside. After just pushing the cart for a few minutes I was sort of puzzled I know the sign outside said Food Market but looking around I was confused as to what kind of Food Market Lidl wanted to be.

I will explain this the only way I know-how. Part of the store reminded me of Trader Joe’s like with the flower and vegetable section and the way they displayed them to the customer but then further inspection of the rest of the store was more in line with Costco. They seemed to display other goods in a Costco like fashion using the product boxes they had been shipped in right on the counter for customers to take. Then in areas like the deli section which one would think would have more attention was none existent. It measured about 5 feet which you would think in a german store would be something of a showcase but just the opposite was true.

I saw a lot of confused customers but once I talked to them I got to understand some of the reasons why. One couple said where all the things they told us about in the postcard? One woman expressed why are they selling clothes and toys in a food market it makes no sense, what a waste of space. I have to say I agree with her the store was having an identity crisis. They should concentrate on being the top food market but after speaking to one of the reps. He said that once a month they give a list of things that people are requesting and they just might stock them one can only hope they get distilled water in because currently, they don’t carry that product either.

I wanted to shop around for a while and noticed a worker on his iPhone and in front of him was a small desk filled with samples so I asked him about what he was giving out and he didn’t lift his head or say anything so I asked the same thing to him again, no response I took one and moved on and as I turned around he was still typing on the iPhone. Same thing happened when I was walked into front of the store and I turned to this young girl at the desk it looked like she was handing out tote bags so I asked her if this store used to check out guns you know the handheld scanners so customers can scan the items and then place them in the cart for faster check out she looked at me like I was from another planet. I explain it to her again and then strangely others started chiming in with descriptions of their own and then she finally understood and said no we don’t have them here. That's a shame because I like using them and it makes the process of food shopping much faster for me.

I was told by a manager that Lidl is the third-largest food market chain but looking up the facts revealed that food markets that include grocery and department stores are called hypermarkets and are not considered supermarkets. Here are the top supermarkets how they rank:

1) The Kroger Co. 2) Albertsons 3) Royal Ahold Delhaize. To be honest, Lidl didn’t even make the top ten on any list be it hypermarkets or supermarkets for 2018 or 2019.

I have to compare everything to Stop and Shop because that’s where most of my shopping is currently done. I think over time things will get better and hopefully with the customer feedback to corporate will start seeing more things we are all asking for and I’ll check back from time to time but until then I’ll be doing most of my food shopping at Stop & Shop. 


  1. Sad to hear this, as I occasionally go to the Best Market near me. And - they have a great deli dept.

    1. Yes I just started to order online with them they had same day delivery it was great very sad it now over.

  2. Lidl is a very good brand, very economical, but sufficient quality. What I buy most there is in the tools and opportunities section (drills, various electric tools for my hobbies), there are better ones but the price compensates! . I buy a lot of clothes too, good quality, usually made in Italy (I buy in Lidl of Spain), and there are certain foods that are superior in quality to those of the most expensive competitors: the humus is magnificent, certain vegetarian burgers too, the quality of the vegetables is good, and in Spain, they have a variety of miniature mushrooms (produced directly for them in Korea) that I love, the tea they have is for me the best, at least it is the one that consumes the most ... Chaquetonos, jackets etc. I buy them there, all were great purchases, they have a line of very cheap perfumes 2-3 euros, clones of big brands, with less longevity evidently, that are correct, and the packaging, are very beautiful ... the dairy section , it is better than any competitor, I buy the natural Greek yogurt, there, it is superior .. the cheese for raclette, and evidwently the German sausages .. Anyway, I have been a customer for about 10 years and I recognize that not everything is s superior .. but 50% of my purchases are, and over time I learned what I don't like there and I don't buy it!

    1. I think you make a good point. This is the first time I ever stepped into one and after speaking to the manager he said this one had more items to choose from than most others but I didn't see the things your describing like drills and other electric tools for hobbyist but I did see lots of toys and clothes