In a surprising twist, Lidl, a prominent supermarket chain, has chosen to pay customers for their waiting time in queues, emulating a strategy also employed by Kaufland. Lidl’s motto, “saving not just your time, but also your money,” underpins this unique decision. If customers are stuck in a queue for more than five minutes, they are entitled to a discount of 50 koruna, provided not all checkouts are open.
However, customers are largely unaware of this discount, a fact that cashiers might be grateful for. Lidl announced on Facebook, “We know waiting in line can be uncomfortable, so we’ve decided that if you wait more than five minutes and not all checkouts are open, we’ll deduct a 50 koruna discount from your purchase. What do you think?” The post quickly amassed nearly eight hundred comments, many expressing concern over potential pressure on cashiers.
Customers must actively request the discount themselves. The cashier ultimately determines whether a customer is eligible for the discount. “As we’ve stated, time is not measured in any way. Internal regulations govern the entire campaign, and a customer must ask for a discount. It’s entirely up to you to take advantage of it,” the retailer responded directly.
Despite this, our editorial team visited the Lidl supermarket several times and found no signs indicating customers were entitled to a discount for longer waiting times. On a Thursday morning visit to a branch in Prague’s Vinohrady, there were about four people at each checkout. Whether we waited five minutes, we could not determine. No one asked for the discount.
Days later, we returned to Lidl and saw that a sign stating customers were entitled to a discount had been placed behind the checkouts. We waited precisely four and a half minutes at the checkout. The campaign seems to be slowly coming to light, offering a unique approach to customer service and marketing.