Blog: Lidl goes loopy

Catherine Sleep | 3 February 2004

A shopper at a Welsh branch of German hard discounter Lidl is reported to have been banned from the store – on account of her deficient trolley etiquette.

Patricia Evans allegedly pushed her trolley (shopping cart) alongside the checkout facing forwards, and refused to turn it around when asked. The store manager took her money and then informed she was henceforth banned.

It’s an amusing and probably exaggerated story, but it does raise some interesting points.

Firstly, it backs up commonly held theories that the Germans really do rate ‘Ordnung’ more highly than Brits. Having for many years worked in Germany, I’d agree – although they’re TERRIBLE at queuing. But then, queuing is a national pastime in Britain so I arrived with high expectations.

Secondly, no, you cannot expect the same service and flexibility in a hard discount outlet as you can in a top-end food retailer. To quote the outraged Ms Evans, “They don't talk to you like that at Marks & Spencer".

Finally, any store is only as good as its manager. A professional, enthusiastic and resourceful store manager should be able to defuse issues like this before the customer leaves the store, and certainly before they hit the national papers.

Trolley turmoil


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