Lidl’s own-brand have become an unlikely contender for this year’s hottest trainer brand but the supermarket has been left apologising to customers after many pairs were bulk-bought and re-sold online by budding entrepreneurs.
Priced at £12.99 and available from the middle aisle of Lidl, which is known for its random assortment of goods, the shoes were part of a new fashion range that sold out in hours in some stores but then appeared on Depop, eBay and other websites with a big markup.
Some sellers have sold dozens of pairs at £35 each while others have put together “packages” of trainers, socks and board shorts.
One customer complained they had visited five different stores on the day the trainers went on sale but left empty-handed as they were all sold out.
Lidl has said it is investigating how so many of them went on to be resold for two or three times the retail price, with some users listing them for as several hundred pounds. “We’re aware of this issue and it’s currently being investigated internally,” a Lidl spokesperson said.
The trainers are a chunky style, designed in the brand colours of blue, yellow and red, and adorned, of course, with the Lidl logo familiar from the store’s shopping bags. Board shorts with the Lidl logo sold for £4.99, socks were £1.49 and bags were 99p.
One seller, Alfie Hayward from the West Midlands, said that he initially bought a couple of pairs of the trainers but went back and stocked up when he realised they would be popular.
“All the shoes sold out in about three days,” Hayward said. “I had about 30 pairs of trainers, so about 10 pairs a day sold. That’s not to mention the socks – which sold even quicker.”
To the untrained eye, the range may be brash and garish but it appears to have tapped into the 90s nostalgia trend especially popular among young people and students.
This is not the cut-price retailer’s first foray into the world of fashion. It has sold unbranded clothing since 2014 and last year dipped its toe into branded fashion with its successful Christmas jumper also featuring the Lidl logo.
The German discount supermarket would not comment on why its trainers were proving so popular or whether there are plans to bring the branded clothing back.