I'm a shopping guru & here's why you always spend loads in Lidl & Aldi famous middle aisle | The Sun

KNOWN for their too-good-to-miss bargains, Aldi and Lidl have become the favourites for many seeking a great deal.

But if you're anything like us, the team at Fabulous, chances are you've also left these shops with heaps more than you had originally popped in for.

But how does Lidl and Aldi achieve this? To uncover this mystery, Denise Van Outen paired up with Channel 4 in their latest programme, Secrets of the Middle Aisle.

''You pop in for a pint of milk and pick up… a paddle board,'' the TV presenter chuckled.

This, turns out, is ''absolutely essential'' for these German giants who've become so popular across the world.

Retail consultant and author, Miya Knights, said it's all about the element of surprise – you never know what you're going to stumble across whilst walking around the store.

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''The product assortment and the arrangements that they stock constantly change.''

''What Aldi and Lidl do is they give other customers the opportunity to engage sometimes with some products that we might not necessarily be able to buy otherwise if it wasn't for them,'' added retail analyst Kate Hardcastle.

''What they do is allow us almost a democratisation of bringing those goods into our homes.''

And it seems the trick has worked – as loads of shoppers not only are bagging the bargains, such as their inexpensive dupes for high-end products, but also praising the stores online.

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This, in turn means, both Aldi and Lidl are getting wider advertising on social media – for free.

Unlike their rivals, such as Tesco and Sainsbury's, these stores also don't rely on sales and Buy 1-Get 1 For Free deals – their middle aisle keeps the customers enticed to return over and over again.

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The constant churn of the exciting bargains in the middle aisle is the key to the stores' success story.

In fact, the change is so frequent, you'll see a hundred new products twice a week, creating a huge amount of anticipation.

And of course, knowing that once the items are gone, they're gone, you're more likely to bag them, whether you need the omelette maker or not.

Of course, it's not just Lidl and Aldi that have employed clever tactics to manipulate you into spending more – IKEA has its tricks too.

We've all spent hours getting lost in the maze, fuelling up on their signature meatballs and of course, leaving the store with far more than just that one chair we had originally popped in for.

One of the former top dogs of IKEA spoke to Channel 5 and revealed some of their tactics employed to make customers spend more.

Johan Stenebo, a former director of the brand, appeared on IKEA: How Do They Really Do It? and explained… well, how they really do it.

And according to the professional, the spend-encouraging tactics start the second you enter the shop – and it's all to do with the iconic yellow bags.

"You need to entice the customer to start purchasing and, as you grab one of those yellow bags, you mentally open your wallet, subconsciously.

''And then the real fun for IKEA starts."

As one professional in the industry then explained: ''If they put something in their basket as soon as they walk through the door, they're going to keep putting them in.''

And IKEA fans will know how difficult it is to resist filling up the plastic bag – especially once you lay your eyes on something the brand refers to as their ''breathtaking items''.

Johan said: ''Breathtaking items are items that are so low priced, sometimes at a loss, to give customers a cue that prices at IKEA are very, very low.

''Even if you don’t purchase those items that you’re looking at, that impression, it has a sort of spill-over effect on the whole range."

Just as important is the layout, where different areas are designed to replicate rooms in houses – such as the living space, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms, often complete with various IKEA gadgets.

Of course, it's easy to imagine yourself living there – and the only way to achieve this is by bagging everything on the display.

"The room set was an IKEA invention, it was done in the 50s.

''So they came up with an invention of this room set and then they still realised that they needed a sofa compact, and it was really the combination of the sofa compact and the room sets that made people purchase.

''You sort of find your own taste, subconsciously, something will attract you."

As you slowly make your way through each section of the store, you're almost forced to bump into items that you didn't necessarily enter the shop for.

But of course, they seem reasonably priced and fun – so why not add them to the basket as well?

"You never have a straight walkway for more than maybe 20 yards," said Johan.

"Then it turns, and it turns again, and then it turns again. What happens then, subconsciously, your eyes get to see different things.

"The pathway is developed to lead the customer through the entire IKEA store.

''That's the purpose of it. There are possible shortcuts, but the 'natural way' is always the long way."

The signature meatballs – a key part of any visit to IKEA – also play an important role, and it seems like customers have fallen for them hard.

According to the documentary, the Swedish retailer sells a whopping billion meatballs each year because they give the shopper that 'IKEA experience' feeling.

Go sit down, have a pile of their meatballs, enjoy a free cup of coffee, browse through the catalogue – and off back to shopping you go.

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So if the next time you find yourself coming out of the store with piles and piles of bags – this is why.

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