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Discover the fourth biggest supermarket in the world’s secret to success

By November 30, 2017January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates, STEMM, Why Exeter blog


The evolution of retail, and the fourth biggest supermarket in the world’s secret to success, will be discussed by two of Lidl UK’s bosses as part of The STEMM Cell presentations being held at Exeter Science Park this autumn.

Luca Ficetola, Lidl UK’s Operations Projects Consultant and Timothy Nyahasha, Head of Administration and Human Resources for the South West of England, will be hosting the talk on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017.

Ever wondered how an exponential rise in online shopping in recent years has affected the retail landscape? Or how technological advances in social media have impacted retailers? And is investing in bricks and mortar still a viable option for retailers?

Luca, who has a Masters degree in law and is a qualified arbitrator, will be heading to the Westcountry from his desk at Lidl HQ in Wimbledon to host the talk, to answer these pertinent questions, and others.

And business Masters graduate Timothy, based at the company’s south west distribution depot, which opened around the corner from Exeter Science Park in October, will also impart his wisdom on the evolving retail landscape.

The German discount food retailer is the fourth biggest supermarket in the world and the pair will reveal the secret to success of the Lidl enterprise. Lidl UK opened its twelfth UK depot near Exeter this autumn as part of a commitment to invest £1.45bn in Great Britain between 2017-18.

In doing so, 500 jobs for local people were created with a number of different roles, including warehouse operatives and desk clerks, kitchen assistants and porters to work in the catering team, with jobs currently being advertised on the company’s careers website.

The first Lidl store opened in 1973 and there are now around 10,000 stores across Europe, launching in the UK in 1994 and expanding into America this year.

Mr Nyahasha, said: “The retail industry has changed dramatically over the last two decades since the first Lidl store opened in the UK. We live in an ever-increasing digitalised world where the internet is the destination of choice for shoppers, including food and drink.

“Lidl has stayed true to its founding principles of providing low cost, quality food; this is one reason the company has continued to grow. We are looking forward to addressing other key elements of the evolving retail landscape at the Exeter Science Park this month.”

The STEMM Cell @ Exeter Science Park – Inspiring Growth, kicked off in September with the autumn/winter programme including a diverse mix of speakers from science, technology, engineering, maths, medicine (STEMM) industries.

Previous speakers have included Dr Steven Hepplestone, Physics and Astronomy lecturer at the University of Exeter, discussing ‘solving the world energy crisis’; Devon marine biologist Imogen Napper whose research influenced a government ban on microbeads in cosmetics to reduce sea pollution. Forthcoming presentations include Ken Woods, Principal Conductor of English Symphony Orchestra discussing ‘leadership without words’.

Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said: “The South West is home to a host of leading innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs and businesspeople, so we have created this platform to share the exciting knowledge and innovative projects that take place across Devon and beyond.

“All our speakers have been identified for their expertise, knowledge and skills in areas that can be passed on to bring about benefit to others.

“We are looking forward to hosting Timothy and Luca, whose knowledge about how retail can keep up with evolving shopping trends in an increasingly digital world, should be hugely insightful to both retailers and businesspeople alike.”

Tickets are priced at £10 per event, with a charity donation going to the Devon Community Foundation at the end of the year. For more information and to book your tickets, visit