Lidl has opened its first new concept store as part of a £1.5bn expansion plan over the next three years.

The first so-called Lidl of the Future (LOF), based in Rushden, Northamptonshire, will be replicated in all future planning applications for Lidl stores and is designed to meet the expectations of the UK consumer.

The state-of-the-art, glass fronted design features a spacious layout, wider aisles, longer tills, toilets and baby changing facilities and the latest energy efficient technology.

The glass-fronted façade maximises natural daylight entering the building, while sensor-controlled exterior sun blinds automatically operate to mitigate the effects of unwanted heat from solar gain. LED lighting is used throughout the store, saving 50% on energy use.

The Rushden store is approximately 14,000sq ft. Each new LOF store will see an investment of over £2m per store.

Lidl UK’s board director of property and expansion, Ingo Fischer, said: “This is yet another milestone for us in providing the infrastructure needed to manage our increasing market share and the expectations of our growing and incredibly valued customer base who have, quite rightfully, come to expect the very best of us.

“Along with its cutting edge design, our ‘Lidl of the Future’ concept will also go a step further to streamline processes and maximise efficiency. This forms a key part of our business model, which enables us to keep prices low and the quality of our products high.”