Lidl is including organic products in its regular range
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
From the second week of 2006 organic products are to be available regularly in the around 2700 Lidl stores in Germany. The discounter is starting in the fresh food segment with lemons, oranges, potatoes and onions. Apples are to follow later. In August 2005, Lidl held an “organic week” and trialed an organic range of about 50 food lines. Now Lidl announced to introduce an organic range of 50 products by end of February.
For the first time since its inception 33 years ago, the discount chain has a press officer. From the beginning of January 2006, it is the job of Thomas Oberle to ensure transparency in communications with the media. Public pressure on the company has been a big factor in this decision. While the company was experiencing crisis after crisis, the silence on the part of management just added to the negative headlines. Lidl did not communicate with the press. The firm’s management did not respond to enquiries by journalists. The “Badische Neueste Nachrichten” dismissed an editor for a critical report after Lidl - an advertising client - complained to the management of the newspaper’s publisher . Greenpeace’s accusation that Lidl’s discount stores were selling fruit and vegetables contaminated with poisonous substances was ignored at Lidl’s headquarters. On the contrary, Lidl maintained in newspaper advertisements that its fresh food range was tested by independent laboratories. One of these organisations took legal action to challenge the accuracy of this assertion.
It remains to be seen whether the new press officer can in fact induce Lidl’s management to be more open. Even though Klaus Gehrig, the head of the holding company, put the discounter’s public relations in the hands of the PR Agency Engel and Zimmermann a year ago, the policy of silence has hardly changed at all.