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Norwegian chain at war against German Lidl

The Norwegian grocery chain Coop is promising a battle when the German low price grocery chain Lidl tries to conquer the Norwegian market.

While most of the other grocery chains are keeping a low profile while they are waiting for the German giant to make its appearance, Coop is getting ready for the fight.

Coop sold off 8,000 DVD players for NOK 399 (USD 57) during two days last week. At the same time is Prix stating that it will sell computers for far below the prices Norwegians are used to seeing, according to the Norwegian paper VG.

“The specialty stores will bleed, but the customer will get cheaper merchandise,” said Håkon Ødegaard, head of information at Coop.

Allegedly the most important weapon against Lidl is the sale of large shipments of electronic articles at largely reduced prices, a strategy not unfamiliar to Lidl.

According to Ødegaard, Prix is going to sell 1500 computers just after Christmas at a price which is up to 30 percent cheaper than at the specialty stores.

Per Gunnar Rasmussen, head of research at Varehandels Høyskole BI, claims that what Coop is doing now and Lidl’s launch in Norway during the summer of 2004, will revolutionize the grocery trade in Norway.

“Grocery stores that sell computers and DVD players to dumping prices will lead to small electronic stores in the same area will have a hard time making a profit because their profit is often small as it is,” Rasmussen said to the paper.

Lidl is expected to open its first store in Norway during the spring of 2004.

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