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Lidl GB to trial on-shelf smart refills

Lidl GB is now giving customers access to an on-shelf smart refill machine with ‘smart’ pouches for laundry detergent.

The compact machines, designed by Chilean sustainability start up Algramo, will be located on-shelf in the store’s laundry detergent section. They will take up space equivalent to 66 standard Formil single use bottles but have the potential of filling over 245 individual pouches, increasing capacity by nearly 300%

Through the machine’s automated, touchscreen experience, customers can simply pick up the pouch, choose their favourite detergent and follow the simple on-screen instructions. Innovative ‘closed fill’ technology incorporated into the pouch cap allows customers to fill up with the cap still on, enabling faster filling while eliminating the chance of mess and spills.

Algramo’s smart technology means that the Formil pouches contain a special chip that allows the machine to distinguish between new and reused refill pouches, so the customer gets their saving of 20p after their first use. The technology will also help Lidl and Algramo to understand how many times each pouch is refilled and therefore how much packaging has been saved through the trial.

This innovation is designed to meet Lidl’s commitment to being ‘big on quality, Lidl on price’. It saves customers money, helps to reduce single use plastic and makes life simpler for the whole supply chain, from customers and colleagues, through to suppliers.

The benefits of the refill solution include:

Cost: refills offer customers the cheapest wash, saving 20p per refill when compared to the equivalent single use product.

Sustainability: using the ‘smart’ refill pouches saves 59 g of plastic per refill, the weight of an equivalent single use bottle, and minimises CO2 and water use.

Efficiency: for customers, the trial is Lidl’s fastest ever refill solution. For suppliers and colleagues in store, the small size of the machine optimises shelf space and the detergent transported in bulk packaging makes logistics more efficient.

Mark Newbold, CSR manager at Lidl GB, said: ‘We are incredibly proud of this latest innovation, which will enable our customers to save money and reduce their plastic consumption. We were the first UK supermarket to introduce smart laundry detergent refill stations and now we’re the first to introduce this next generation design.

‘It is our strong belief that good quality and value should go together. We are committed to providing our customers with cost saving solutions that can help their wallets and the planet.’

The trial will feature in the supermarket’s Swadlincote, Lichfield and Kingswinford stores. This builds on an initial six month pilot of a larger, standing refill machine at the Kingswinford store, which resulted in extremely positive customer feedback. Of those who made use of the trial machine, 97% said they would recommend it to a friend or colleague, and 88% plan to use it again soon.

Chris Baker, country manager at Algramo UK, said: ‘At Algramo we are committed to lowering the cost of products by selling in bulk and, on the other hand, reducing the amount of single use plastic that is discarded, decreasing the environmental impact. This launch represents an important evolution of our refill offering and there is still more to come as we explore new ways to further optimise refill both for the consumer and retail staff alike.’

How it works in store…

Customers can follow these quick simple steps to refill, save money and help the environment:

Pick up your refill pouch in store. Keep the cap on.

Select which Formil laundry detergent product you want to refill.

Slide your refill pouch into the refill machine until it clicks. The machine will automatically recognise your Formil refill pouch. Please note, you cannot use your own bottle or pouch.

Once the refill process is complete, simply collect the ticket printed with the barcode for your product.

Your first time you will pay for your refill pouch and laundry detergent at the till with your ticket.

Next time, use your laundry detergent and bring back your empty pouch to refill and continue saving!


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