The traffic generation of a Lidl foodstore is minimal compared to a mainstream food retailer.
As part of the planning application a detailed Transport Assessment has been undertaken to establish the capacity of the surrounding road network and assess the effect of the proposed development.
In terms of traffic generation, it is estimated that the majority of trips (80%) will be linked, pass-by and transferred/diverted trips made by cars that will already be on the highway network. In fact it is expected that the length and number of trips made will reduce as shoppers will have less need to travel further afield to do their food shopping
It is important to recognise that discount foodstores stock a mere 1,800 products and have a very low turnover of circa £5m per annum. In contrast, more mainstream stores such as Sainsbury or Tesco can stock more than 30,000 products and turnover circa £30m. The turnover and traffic generation of a discount foodstore is extremely low in comparison.
In terms of delivery vehicles, the proposed store will have only 2-3 deliveries each day, which equates to a maximum of 6 movements (in and out). Deliveries will be dispatched from Lidl’s regional distribution centre almost opposite the site.
As the application site is not within a designated town centre, development plan policy requires a search to identify whether there are any alternative locations within or on the edge of a defined centre, and an assessment of the proposed store’s likely impact on existing shops. A Retail Assessment has therefore been undertaken by specialist consultants, which has confirmed that there are no sites within or adjoining any of the existing shopping centres on the northwest side of the city that are suitable and available to accommodate the proposed Lidl, and that the store will not have any significant adverse impact on the health of any existing shops. As a Limited Assortment Discounter the Lidl will have a comparatively small turnover compared to the more mainstream food retailers like Tesco, and the majority of its trade is expected to come from the large Sainsbury in Lords Hill and Tesco at Tebourba Way: both those stores are currently trading very well and the small amount of trade that will be lost to the new Lidl will not threaten their continued trading.
Lidl’s trading format and retail offer has become increasingly attractive to food shoppers across the country, not only because of their low prices but also the quality of their offer. Within Southampton Lidl already have stores in the City Centre, Shirley, Woolston and on Bursledon Road and live proposals on Banister Road and to relocate the Shirley store. Combined with the distribution centre which employs 300 staff, this evidences Lidl’s commitment to investment in Southampton.