It is the first time the German discounter has submitted a planning application of this nature, which will entail turning part of its new store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, into an off-licence and public house.
A Lidl spokesperson said: “As the fastest growing retailer in Northern Ireland, we believe Dundonald shoppers should have the opportunity to access the same great value assortment currently enjoyed by thousands of shoppers in 37 other Lidl stores in Northern Ireland.”
Lucy Ingram, of retail analysis company IGD, said the plans include a bar and seating area, which will be separate to the store with unique access and a separate shop front.
She said: “The pub will help to drive footfall to the new store making it a destination for other missions, increasing frequency of visit.
“Having this additional feature provides differentiation from other retailers and gives shoppers a distinct reason to choose the store over its competitors.”
According to Irish News, Lidl returned to the site with a new £7m concept store in November, after B&M Bargains had operated on the site for several years as a tenant.
A concept store is, by definition, a place where new ideas are put together in a bid to enhance the shopper experience – for which Lidl is adding a licensed premise to its site.
Willing to experiment
Ingram added: “This marks a change from the traditional built-to-spec design usually seen from Lidl. Although we do not expect to see it rolled out to other stores, it shows the retailer is willing to experiment with its format and proposition in an interesting way.
“We have seen Lidl is continuing to evolve and update its stores to better prepare for the future. Part of this is developing different store formats to suit a range of environments, such as those in city centres.
“The retailer is also looking at ways to drive efficiency, improve in-store design and invest in omnichannel, to help evolve its proposition further.”