Good practice

Longer opening hours reduced food waste at Lidl Finland

Longer opening hours reduced food waste at Lidl Finland
© Peter Atkins, #44472130, 2018, source:
Materials, Waste
Wholesale and retail
Total cost savings:
Cost savings are achieved via reduced waste, less food spillage and improved productivity.
Premises and operation areas:
Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)

Peak planning, peak performance...

  • Extended opening hours reduce demand fluctuations, resulting in better forecasting
  • New system monitors demand and improves forecast-based planning and food-waste reporting

At Lidl Finland, longer opening hours were tested first in 20 different stores, following the lifting of restricted opening hours in December 2015. After the pilot phase, longer opening hours were extended to all Lidl stores in the country which are now open from 8 am to 9 pm Monday through Satruday, and on Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm. In the summertime, Lidl stores in the Helsinki region open longer on Sundays as well (until 9 pm).

The longer opening hours have had a positive impact on food waste because of reduced fluctuation in demand. Analysing the food waste created and thus optimising selection has also become easier. Earlier, especially before holidays, the stores had to prepare for peaks in demand, which were difficult to predict. When stores closed for holidays, more fresh products had to be discarded.

Lidl uses a process to monitor demand even on an hourly basis. Ordering processes are thus optimised using automated forecast-based planning and enhanced food-waste reporting. With the extended opening hours, the planning system can now provide even more reliable forecasts, and food waste is reduced. 

Key benefits

A system was implemented that can monitor demand for each product, resulting in automated forecast-based planning and food-waste reports. By introducing extended opening hours in Finland, Lidl was able reduce fluctuation in demand by levelling out peak time uncertainty.


“It has been clearly perceptible, that the more the stores are open, the less there is food spill. The spill is formed from little streams, so little improvements can bring big results.” -- Olli Sirainen, Project manager, Lidl Finland

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