Supermarkets should look to utilise convenience stores to fight back against the discounters.
This is the view of a leading professor from Aston Business School who believes that the big four retailers should open smaller, convenient outlets on the doorstep of discounters to help tackle the competition. The likes of Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury's have all been affected by the rise of Aldi and Lidl with the emerging discounters gaining a bigger market share in the sector.
Professor Heiner Evanschitzky explained that the more traditional supermarkets need to update their business model or run the risk of being overtaken by the discounters.
He believes that opening more convenience stores near to major discounter outlets could help the supermarkets stay ahead of the game. Professor Evanschitzky believes that this is a more effective strategy than engaging in another price war.
The Aston Business School academic said: "The big four should for instance look at opening smaller stores next to Aldi supermarkets, focusing on a complimentary range of products that consumers will buy as 'treats' after their cheaper discount shop."
"The big four are rightly focused on smaller stores to match Britain's changing shopping habits. The days of the weekly shop are long gone - nowadays we are more likely to grab what we need, when we need it, often from smaller, convenience-style stores."
Aldi and Lidl's rise has ramped up the pressure on the major supermarkets. While Tesco has hit significant financial difficulty after overstating its profits by over £250 million, Morrisons has aimed at challenging the discounters head on.
The supermarket recently announced that it would be launching a price comparison scheme which, for the first time, takes into account both Aldi and Lidl. This price promise will mean that Morrisons will match the cost of any product found cheaper in any of the major supermarkets as well as the discounters.