What can we expect from Lidl in the US?

Lidl in the US

In 2018, Lidl will open 100 stores in the US. Since the announcement to the press during Christmas 2014, Lidl has been garnering attention: investments as high as 200 million dollars, headquarters in Arlington, and mass recruitments …

I’ve reported on Aldi in the US several times. Now there’s another large German discount store in the line up. What can we expect from Lidl in the US? And what consequences will it have for Aldi USA?

According to the leading American magazines for grocery retail, Lidl is through and through a serious contender. In several articles, Supermarket News reported the following:

− former CEO of Lidl Ireland, Brendan Proctor, has taken over leadership
− headquarters will be in Virginia, near the US capital
headquarters will employ 500 employees
− a distribution center in the area will create 200 jobs
− an additional distribution center will open in North Carolina
salaries will be significantly higher than the local averages

What consequences will these plans for expansion have for Lidl in the US and Aldi USA?

In a June 2015 article, Lidl’s expansion into the US was portrayed as a legitimate threat for American retail. In the same article, it was written that Aldi intends to grow aggressively in California. Interestingly, Neil Stern doesn’t get into the topic of how similar the positions are of both discount stores. Lidl CEO’s “We are focused on offering customers top quality products at the most competitive pricing” is not any different from Aldi’s “Top quality at low prices” to me. It’s more about introducing Lidl to American readers. Supermarket News expects the following:

− stores larger than Aldis’ (about 3,500 square meters vs. 1,000)
− selection of goods, mostly store brand
more brands at launch to draw American customers into the stores

The last point is what sets Lidl apart from Aldi, I think. Whether their prices will be able to compete on the American market is a subject open to discussion.

Photo credit: DennisM2 by Flickr Common

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