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Lidl, a leading grocery store chain, was founded in Germany in 1973 and opened its first British store in 1994. Since then, it has been dedicated to delivering the highest quality food products to millions of customers all over Great Britain.



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Lidl, a leading grocery store chain, was founded in Germany in 1973 and opened its first British store in 1994. Since then, it has been dedicated to delivering the highest quality food products to millions of customers all over Great Britain.

Now with more than 935 stores and 13 regional distribution centers that employ over 28,000 nationwide, Lidl GB’s mission is to deliver outstanding customer satisfaction, ensure market-leading quality and achieve long-term success by investing in the recruitment, training and development of its people. 

In pursuit of this, Lidl GB required the creation of a series of highly interactive online learning resources and supporting materials to bring new shift managers up to competency in their new role.


Historically, Lidl GB delivered its Shift Manager Training through a series of one-day classroom workshops. This incurred significant organizational overheads and required learners to wait for available slots before they could start their training. 

The arrival of the national lockdown in 2020 put these disadvantages into greater focus and motivated the team at Lidl to rethink its approach to training. 

Lidl GB found itself in need of a program that would reduce seat time and seamlessly integrate with the day-to-day work of a new shift manager. The company would also need to ensure no drop in training efficacy during the transition from classroom to online training.


Lidl GB partnered with Learning Pool to develop a bespoke blended learning program with online learning material designed for access via in-store tablet devices. The program was commissioned to cover the following topics: 

  1. Business Change Management, Trading Compliance, IMS and CCTV
  2. Cash Processes
  3. Loss Prevention and Inventory
  4. Understanding KPIs
  5. Customer Service for Store Management
  6. Store Ordering

The Shift Manager Training program was built around three pillars; learn, implement and evaluate. The learning offers a guided tour of the systems and equipment they’ll use and provides a safe environment to learn key skills. 

Set to be delivered to 1,200 learners each year, Learning Pool designed a blended program that combines online learning experiences with practical in-store activities and choreographed trainer support to provide a flexible and thorough onboarding and upskilling experience for new starters taking their first steps into management. 

On top of that, the training was designed to meet various other requirements and challenges in order to ensure ease of use and high levels of learner engagement.

Lidl GB challenges vs solution

A carefully considered approach

Lidl GB provided Learning Pool’s Learning Designers with access to the existing classroom workbooks and slides and gave them the opportunity to speak to a range of stakeholders across the organization. This included visiting a number of Lidl stores to speak to colleagues to see firsthand the environment in which the training would be delivered. From the outset, a clear opportunity to reduce training time significantly could be seen. Through smart editing and creative learning design, the Learning Experience Design team estimated that each one-day workshop could be condensed into two hours of online learning content.

A seamless implementation

An evaluation pilot for the new program was launched in June 2022. Taking 101 users across two regions through the Cash Processes topic, this soft launch enabled the team at Lidl to gather feedback from learners and understand if the program was reducing seat time without trading on efficacy as planned. 

A control group in Exeter was asked to complete the previous classroom-based program during the same period to act as a clear comparison with the new digital approach.

“We set out to change the way the business thinks about online learning and Learning Pool has helped us achieve this aim and then some. The stats speak for themselves, this program is making a huge difference across our stores.”

Alistair Cumming, Head of Learning & Development, Lidl GB


The pilot was a huge success and has enabled Lidl GB to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in terms of cost-saving and learner impact. The rollout of the Cash Processes topic to the control group of 101 learners demonstrated a 58% reduction in learner seat time

In comparison, the classroom program required 32.5 hours from learners, store managers and mentors whereas the new online-led training enabled learners to reach competency with just 15 hours of time invested. This reduction of 19.5 hours equates to an immediate cost saving of £55,000 for the evaluation pilot alone. Early indications suggest this time reduction is being repeated across the remaining 13 regions where this training is being rolled out meaning Lidl GB can expect to save £715,000 on this topic alone.

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Reduction in learner seat time

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Evaluation pilot cost saving

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Saving across remaining 13 regions

A conservative estimate of the time reduction offered by the remaining modules equates to a total projected cost saving of £2.5m. In terms of learning effectiveness, the aim was to ensure that any time-saving did not impact learners’ understanding of the material and their ability to do their job. However, the pilot found that this new approach actually improved pass rates.

Lidl GB’s evaluation pilot saw the number of learners scoring 85% on the final assessment increase from 55% to 71%. With a pass mark of 50%, seeing a large group of learners attain these levels gives the business more confidence that fewer errors will be made in-store. The assessments used the same set of questions to ensure this data set was comparable.

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Total projected saving

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of learners scoring over 85% on the final assessments

This effectiveness was also reflected in the qualitative feedback gathered from the pilot group which emphasized that not only was this program more effective than the classroom training but also preferred by learners. 

Learners highlighted the flexibility that the program offered as a key reason for this preference with trainee shift managers able to fit this learning around their day-to-day work. Adjustments to the way Lidl GB used store managers in this program – particularly with a piece of learning emphasizing what was expected of them – also made a significant difference to learners’ experience.

The new Shift Manager Training program has set a new standard for how learning is delivered at Lidl. It is a perfect demonstration of how online and practical in-person experiences can be combined to create more effective learning.