Lidl invests £9M in living wage pledge

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lidl has made a £9M pledge to pay the minimum wage
Lidl has made a £9M pledge to pay the minimum wage

Related tags: Lidl, Minimum wage, London

Discount retailer Lidl is to invest £9M in paying its 17,000-strong UK workforce the living wage – the nation’s first supermarket to achieve the landmark.

Adopting the minimum wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, followed a record year of sales reaching over £4bn, said the retailer.

The move means all Lidl UK employees will receive a minimum of £8.20 per hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 per hour in London. Lidl employees are in line for an average wage increase of £1,200 per year, with 53% of Lidl’s workforce benefitting from the rise.

‘Proud of our employees’

Lidl UK ceo Ronny Gottschlich, said: “At Lidl UK we are proud of our achievements, proud of our growth, and proud of our unwavering commitment to our customers and quality products, but most of all we are proud of our employees who make everything possible.

“We recognise that every employee forms an integral part of team Lidl, and each individual’s contribution is valued. It’s therefore only right that we show our commitment, in the same way that the team commit to the business and our customers each and every day, by ensuring a wage that supports the cost of living.”

Lidl employees will now be amongst the best paid in the supermarket sector, he added.

‘Obsessive secrecy’

Consultants Mintel said the investment revealed health of Lidl’s finances, against a background of “obsessive secrecy”​ about its financial performance.

Lidl’s ‘headroom’

“Lidl's profits must have risen very sharply in the UK during the last few years so it has the headroom to do this.”​ 

  •  Richard Perks, Mintel

While Lidl was increasing its market share, the “big four supermarkets were going the other way”​, Mintel retail director Richard Perks told the BBC Radio 4’s Today ​programme.

“Lidl's profits must have risen very sharply in the UK during the last few years so it has the headroom to do this,”​ he said.

The big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – “had all been upstaged by Lidl”​ after this announcement and “would have to think of a response,”​ said Perks.

Meanwhile, earlier this month Lidl announced plans to open new stores in central London. Its UK property director Richard Taylor said: “As we continue with our ambitious store expansion programme across the UK we're seeing strong demand, particularly within the Greater London area, for an intelligent retail choice like Lidl.”

Taylor looked forward to serving more customers in the capital and “bringing new jobs and investment across London in the not-too-distant future”.

All in a day's wage

  • Living Wage Foundation’s minimum wage: £8.20 per hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 per hour in London
  • National Living Wage: £7.20 an hour from April 2016 for over 25 year olds

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