Lidl - Business In The Community


Bursting onto the Irish grocery market in 1999, Lidl Northern Ireland operates 38 stores, located across every major town in Northern Ireland. It currently employs more than 800 staff across these stores and in its distribution centre and office based at Nutts Corner.


Sourcing products and locating suppliers locally within Northern Ireland has been crucial to the success and development of the company over the past number of years. It currently works closely with a diverse range of local suppliers, and in fact spent £85 million in the past year, and has plans to invest more in the coming years.

What Lidl did

Lidl’s sustainability strategy, ‘A better tomorrow’, comprises five core pillars: Our Products, Our Employees, Our Environment, Our Stakeholders, and Our Local Communities.

2016 saw its biggest investment to date in the community. The Lidl Community Crew visited over 142 groups, helping to deliver fundraising events, presenting food demonstrations and delivering goodie bags, to help sustain the fantastic work of each project in their local area. The hugely successful partnership with CLIC Sargent Northern Ireland was launched in 2015 smashing its £150,000 two-year target; involving all staff members in fundraising activities to drive engagement within the team and local communities all over Northern Ireland.

The company’s ‘Great Taste Starts Here’ campaign and Balmoral Show platinum sponsorship has brought Northern Irish suppliers into the spotlight, giving them the perfect platform to engage directly with local customers.

Working with Fareshare NI, Lidl NI aims to reduce food waste and CO2 emissions while redirecting food which has not met quality standards for sale but is still perfectly edible. Fareshare redistributes the quality surplus food to organisations and community projects supporting vulnerable people across Northern Ireland. Lidl’s multi-million pound investment in its property portfolio here has seen investment in more environmentally-friendly buildings, therefore reducing its environmental impact.

Lidl NI knows that the future of the business is in its people. In 2015, it launched a bursary programme to the Business School at Ulster University Coleraine and has continued its commitment to paying students fees from 2nd to final year, paying a retainer/salary throughout their university career and placement in their 3rd year with support for their final year project. Work with The Prince’s Trust’s Fairbridge programme sees the organisation take disadvantaged young people into a four week ‘Get into Retail’ Programme.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • Redirected more than 6 tonnes of food, saving costs and reducing CO2 emissions by 19.2 tonnes
  • 80 people on ‘Get into retail’ programme, with 59% retention rate with those offered full time employment
  • £240,000 raised for CLIC Sargent
  • Fareshare has created over 13,000 meals with Lidl donations
  • Warehousing increased by 15%, with a 26% saving in energy consumption due to lean design
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