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‘I feel misled by Lidl’s massive advertising campaigns using special offers’

Pricewatch: A reader called David is frustrated by offers that are undeliverable to all but the lucky few

A reader called David is a big fan of Lidl and like most of us is keen on the middle aisle. But the middle aisle and the promises of special offers elsewhere in the store have left him frustrated in recent times.

While we understood where he was coming from having had our heart broken by middle aisle shortages many times in the past, we did wonder if the greedy wine lover who had beaten him to the punch was the real villain of the piece.

See what you think.

“For a second week in a row, I feel misled by Lidl’s massive advertising campaigns using ‘special offers’,” his email starts.


“After taking the trouble to drive to the nearest Lidl stores – their special offers were totally gone from the shelves. Last week it was golf gloves. I was told: ‘our pallets were delivered to a different store’. This week it was St Émilion Grand Cru wine (gone before 10.30am – earliest time for alcohol sales) – in both of their stores in Swords.”

David says the experiences – and the absence of discounted golf gloves and fancy red wines had left him “very annoyed – especially, to hear the Lidl special wine offer still on the radio when driving away after 10:30am today [five days after he was let down] when there was room for only 12 bottles in the allocated shelf space.”

He says that “Lidl may feel satisfied, at least in the short term, with attracting extra customers into their stores using such ‘special offer’ gimmicks. But they are leaving the vast majority of their targeted customers pretty dissatisfied with offers that are undeliverable to all but the lucky few who are first in the door.

“I’m saying this because, at the checkout in Swords, one customer had at least 14 bottles (six in a carton and eight loose) of ‘special offer’ wine on the cashier’s conveyor belt at 10:30am – after the very limited supply had been quickly snapped up.”

He says that in reality, “Lidl should be ashamed of themselves with such offers, which are not declared as ‘very limited’. They are also wasting peoples’ time and fuel on frustrating searches for what turn out to be ‘too good to be true’ and ‘non-existent’ offers. So much for clear and deliverable advertising and contributing to reduced global warming. Don’t get me wrong – Lidl does offer very good products at competitive prices, but, really, we don’t need stunts like these!”

We got in touch with Lidl to see what it had to say. A spokeswoman said the company had a “robust and agile supply chain team [which] work tirelessly to ensure that we allocate sufficient stock to our stores to guarantee all of our customers can avail of our market-leading value available in our core range and promotional offers”.

She accepted that “at times, the customer demand ... exceeds even our own expectations and offers sell out extremely quickly which was the case with the St Emilion wine. In relation to the golf gloves, there was a delivery delay with these initiatives, but they were delivered to our Portmarnock store.” She said that she would arrange for a pair to be set aside for our reader.