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France: Lidl set to develop store made entirely of wood

Discount Retail Chain Lidl France (owned by the German Schwarz Group) has started construction on a supermarket made entirely from wood, alongside CBI, a subsidiary of VINCI Construction.

Located in Épinal, in the Vosges department, the 'Bois de France' store is set to open in spring of next year and has been developed in response to the French government's recently-introduced Climat et Résilience legislation, which aims to achieve a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in France by 2030.

The choice of Épinal is a notable one, Lidl said in a statement, as it lies in the heart of France's timber production region. The store will be situated on the brownfield site of a former printing press.

'Innovative And More Responsible'

"As a committed player in sustainable commercial real estate, Lidl is setting up an innovative and more responsible supermarket in the heart of the city of Épinal," commented Alexandre Baudart, manager of the construction department at Lidl France.

He described the project as a "a new step in our partnership with CBI, which is producing our first supermarket prototype with 100% wood structure, thus indicating a joint desire to experiment with solutions in favour of the decarbonisation of the construction industry, and ecological transition."

It's not the first eco-store project that Lidl France has embarked on – in 2020, the group opened a 'positive energy' store – namely a supermarket that produces more energy than it consumes – in Fenouillet, Occitanie.

Timber Construction

In developing the project, CBI, a longstanding partner of Lidl, will rely on the expertise of Arbonis, a subsidiary of VINCI Construction France specialising in timber construction.

"The success of this operation lies in the common desire to imagine the construction of tomorrow," said Jérôme Marchal, agency director, CBI. "With the permanent trust of Lidl and on the strength of a relationship of almost ten years, we have worked on the construction materials and the technical solutions implemented to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible." Lidl has been one of the best-performing grocers in France in recent months, according to Kantar data.

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