Store Review: LiDL vs. Alphamega

Here is a review of two major grocery stores from an American perspective.  While there are a ton of grocery stores in Nicosia, these are the two larger grocery store chains in the area.

LiDL

www.lidl.com.cy

(Source: http://www.divineadvertising.com/blog/?m=201003)

The first time we went to LiDL was our first time going to a larger supermarket. So of course, we were quite pleased with the various cheap products offered in the store.

But having gone into another LiDL at a different location, we quickly realized that it wasn’t for us. Yes, they have incredibly low prices on just about everything and anything you can imagine.  And their store layout looks similar to one another, so you can easily find what you are looking for, once you get a sense of the store’s footprint plan.

Additionally, also bring a euro coin to insert into the shopping cart. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use the shopping carts.  This too must also help curb overhead costs, which saves the shopper money.  And don’t worry, once you put the shopping cart back, the euro coin spits back out and into your pocket.

It just wasn’t worth it to drive to LiDL when we can get all the same things at our local supermarket. It made more sense to save on the gas and to get some exercise picking groceries three times a week than to make a driving trip to a LiDL that was a bit far away.

Alphamega

http://www.alphamega.com.cy

Now, Alphamega was a different story.  We’ve been to two different locations, and both of them are quite large. Imagine a Super Target or Super Walmart or even a large Meijer that has the household goods, groceries, linens, toys, etc.

The first Alphamega was two stories, and it had a separate escalator for the shopping cart.  The two-story Alphamega felt a bit tight on a busy Saturday morning. But the selection was much greater than LiDL.  The prices, however, were a bit higher than even our local market. But at least you don’t have to have an extra euro coin or pay for plastic bags when checking out.

While Alphamega is not within walking distance from us, we like the appeal of Alphamega’s larger selection of products.  And with a car, we’ll definitely be getting some of our groceries there.

(Note: There is also Carrefour, but we haven’t had the opportunity to truly walk around its space. So I didn’t include this larger chain into the review. Perhaps another time.)

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5 thoughts on “Store Review: LiDL vs. Alphamega

  1. When I studied abroad in Germany, I went to Lidl as well and Penny mart. I remember thinking what kind of crazy person would pay a euro in order to use a shopping cart! I’ll just lug my groceries (large quantity cause I was still shopping like an American) around the store. Much to my chagrin, I didn’t realize that the euro was just a deposit… Not a payment. Sigh. 🙂 hope you and the family are doing well!!!

  2. I was confused by the whole cart/deposit thing the first time I went to an Aldi in Indiana. They also charge for plastic bags at checkout. Both practices totally make sense though – the cart deposit encourages patrons to return carts to their proper place, while cutting overhead, and charging for bags encourages folks to reuse plastic bags or bring totes. A local discount grocery chain charges for bags and the one time I went in and forgot a tote I couldn’t bring myself to pay .10 for a bag so I just carried everything out in my arms. I must have looked crazy…or like a shoplifter!

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