The Concept of purchasing power has been highly debated in France for the last few months. Because of a recent and substantial increase in prices, grocery retailers have been under suspicion of being the main engine of this inflation. Why have prices been increasing so quickly in the last few weeks? The French government is currently trying to increase competition and is considering raising regulations in the sector. Moreover very recently some secret agreements between firms in the supply sector were revealed. That is why in such a context, discount grocery retailers seem to be very attractive for numerous customers. However, Lidl one of Europe's leading grocery retailers, has been sued by many of its former employees for unacceptable working conditions and abusive layoffs. To what extent do Lidl's cheap prices benefit the customer? Has Lidl's social policy had an impact on the employment market? Because of the current debate on those questions, I wanted to study the human resources policy of Lidl while reminding all the constraints of such a competitive market. We will try to determine whether discounted prices are always tightly linked to discounted human resources practices.
[...] Due to Lidl philosophy, it is not surprising that even in the human resources department; managers from Lidl confess work with a minimum staff level, on a productivity base”. Actually human resources managers are paid to create value and as a consequence, are regularly assessed. Their main objective is to find and recruit people with high bargaining and communication skills. HR managers should also help employees being more competitive. IV. Human resources management According to the administration, Lidl can offer a diverse range of career paths and development opportunities for motivated and skilled individuals, who would like to work within a challenging and thriving environment. [...]
[...] Sooner or later Lidl will have to change its human resources practices, at least in the developed countries, in which law could not tolerate such practices. That is why Lidl top management should implement new strategies (as seen in the part about our recommendations), before the brand may undergo boycott or justice decisions. XII. Conclusion Lidl is on a very competitive market engaged in a price competition. Maintaining the greatest operational effectiveness possible requires to drastically lower the costs. Lidl business model is thus very simple. [...]
[...] The first Lidl discount store was opened in 1973, copying the Aldi concept. In 1977, the Lidl chain comprised 30 discount stores. Lidl's philosophy On Lidl's internet website's first page people read that “Lidl is one of Europe's leading grocery retailers, providing consumers with outstanding quality products for exceptional value for money.” Even if the term of quality could be discussed, what is irrefutable is that Lidl remains an incomparable competitor in terms of price. “Quality is big and prices are small at Lidl” according to the famous Lidl's slogan. [...]
[...] Human resources practices for the whole employee life cycle Human resource management apparently has only one aim: maximizing the profits. As a consequence top managers put store managers under enormous strain and number of employees in a store, are strictly tied to sales. Store managers must obey to headquarters orders. As a consequence they have very little freedom to manage the store as they would like to. Extremely long working weeks, and pressure on personnel to do unpaid hours, are frequent. [...]
[...] This was the case for workers in Italian and French Lidl stores. In both countries workers improved their working conditions by strikes and widely based solidarity. In France the longest strike in the history of retail trade has emerged out of Lidl's practice to get rid of inconvenient employees with the help of constructed accusations of theft. The employees' success was owed to their persistence and the great solidarity they experienced. Not only the dismissals of the accused workers were cancelled but also negotiations for wage increases and better working conditions had been started. [...]
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