How the Lidl-Heidi collaboration could signal a discounter fashion takeover
The UK clothing market presents a sizeable opportunity for discounters but, until now, Aldi and Lidl have put little effort into the fashion domain. However, Monday saw the latter take a big leap forward with the much-anticipated launch of its first fashion range; a collaboration with German model Heidi Klum. This launch has been on a grand scale, including a New York Fashion Week unveiling and UK ATL promotion, plus a heavily promoted social hashtag. We have used our 5Drivers model to shed light on the consumer emotions this initiative appears to be leveraging successfully. Here’s what we’ve found…
Exclusivity and great execution inflame #Desire
Our previous research has shown that shoppers display considerable warmth towards buying non-food goods at Lidl – the often cited ‘amazing’ prices playing to the #Freedom Driver by making users feel these open up worlds of choice and quality previously out of reach.
However, clothing goods had formerly been restricted to seasonal items (skiwear, baby events and Halloween costumes etc.) plus essentials such as socks, vests and simple tees. Lidl’s decision to go with a model tie-in (rather than just a celeb) and a woman who has a big say in the design of the range, has created instant fashion credibility; something the brand could never have achieved alone. The exclusive nature of the product, combined with ‘limited stock’ drama, all help to heighten #Desire and has seen shoppers queuing outside UK branches from 7am!
This allure has been strengthened by clever ‘Lidl Fashion Week’ activity timed to coincide nicely with London Fashion week. Meanwhile, the in-store execution of the range has poured fuel on the flames. Garments haven’t just been thrown on hangers or dumped in unloved bays; they’ve been romanced with the type of displays not usually associated with discounters. Each item comes in a box, with a single display version on show, and Heidi posters and figures not only model pieces but also underline the fact that the range has her stamp of approval.
The killer mix of distinctive fashion and great value
Lidl’s new range plays very potently to the #Freedom Driver, but this is about more than the liberating effect of the low prices. This foray into fashion also features many bold and distinctive styles such as real suede biker jackets, leather leopard-print heels and real suede bags. The effect is intensified by the availability of basics at remarkably low prices (e.g. under £10 for jeans, under £20 for a coat) – which, coupled with the cachet conferred by Heidi’s seal of approval, poses a serious threat to the value images of Primark and F&F. These low-cost essentials often make shoppers feel free to then treat themselves to the more special items – on an ‘I’ve been good so I deserve a treat’ basis!
The new Heidi range may contain some pieces that shoppers don’t FEEL instantly shout fashion (e.g. ponchos, lain hoodies), but these go down well with customers not brave enough to venture into full-on leopard or electric blue.
We think the new range provides the perfect springboard for Lidl to build on the Heidi success and launch a bigger foray into Fashion!
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