Long queues outside Lidl stores in Lithuania

The German food retail chain Lidl has opened its first stores in Lithuania, with long queues forming outside the supermarkets. It's like back in Soviet times, some commentators remark sarcastically. Others sympathise with those who want to shop cheaply.

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Lrytas (LT) /

Homo Sovieticus queues up

The Lithuanians are queuing up outside Lidl supermarkets like they did in Soviet times, Lrytas writes mockingly:

“The fences, the security men, the bodies sweating in the sunshine. … The Lithuanians are once again being seduced by primitive instincts. A supermarket chain opens on June 2 and huge queues form, as if free trade and free elections hadn't already existed for 26 years. Just like back in the gloomy Soviet era when Moscow residents trekked to the first McDonald's restaurants, this time it is the Lithuanians who have come to behold a miracle. … The pensioners who are used to queuing up to see their doctor, the lumpenproletariat, the nimble super-mamas - this was the critical mass, but there were also many young people of working age. At some companies the lunch breaks were even adjusted to that employees could make a quick dash to the supermarket.”

Bernardinai (LT) /

Please don't make fun of Lidl customers!

Poking fun at the people queuing up outside Lithuania's new Lidl supermarkets is inappropriate, Dovilė Šakalienė points out on the website Bernardinai:

“When I read the mockery, insults and sarcasm in the social networks I couldn't help thinking about the people standing in kilometre-long queues; about the 600,000 Lithuanians who live below the poverty line. About the 260,000 people with disabilities whose income from social benefits amounts to round 123 euros per month. Then I thought about the mysterious middle class - the families whose members have to get by on 500 euros. So thank you to the Germans, who seem a lot more humane because they offer food and other articles of everyday use at humane prices. And thank you to all those who still haven't left Lithuania, preferring instead to queue up for hours because with their Lithuanian salaries they don't earn enough to pay Swedish prices.”