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Aldi and Lidl remove all non-essential middle aisle products

Aldi said this decision was made after receiving further clarification from the government.

Image: Shutterstock/Kzenon

ALDI AND LIDL have said they are removing all non-essential ‘middle aisle’ products in line with Covid-19 advice from the government. 

The government guidelines state that under Level 5, retailers that sell a mix of essential and non-essential goods are required to “make arrangements for the separation” of the non-essential section.

As a result, supermarkets like Tesco said sections with items such as clothes and toys have been closed off to customers in line with this guidance. 

Lidl and Aldi have now both confirmed they will stop selling non-essential ‘middle aisle’ products advertised each week. 

In a statement today, Aldi said it has removed all middle aisle non-essential products currently in store and will postpone the future sale of these products for the time being. 

The company said this decision follows “further clarification from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation regarding the classification of essential and non-essential retail”. 

‘Essential’ special buys such as Christmas food, drinks and DIY products will be sold as normal in the stores. 

Managing director of the Aldi Group Niall O’Connor said: “We are working hard to reschedule these fantastic products once restrictions are lifted to ensure everyone can get everything they need for Christmas in Aldi.”

Lidl Ireland also confirmed on Twitter yesterday that it won’t be selling any non-essential middle aisle items under Level 5 restrictions. 

It said these items will still appear in the weekly leaflets for a few weeks as they are printed in advance, but the items will not be sold in shops. 

“We apologise to customers who are left disappointed by this,” the shop said on Twitter. 

These items include Christmas decorations, casual clothing and toys. It added that it is “in the process of removing from sale any residual stock of previous non-essential promotions”. 

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Tesco has also closed off most of its clothing section and areas with toys and home entertainment. 

“We’re adhering to Government guidelines and have closed our F&F clothing, home entertainment and toys units across the country,” a Tesco spokesperson said.   

“We will continue to offer a very limited range of essential clothing items only for customers for example, baby clothing.”  

Earlier this week in Wales, Tesco apologised after wrongly suggesting that sanitary products were non-essential and could not be sold in stores due to new lockdown measures in place in the country. 

The supermarket later said the tweet was sent “by mistake” and said the relevant aisles had been closed off after a break-in at the store.

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