German grocery giant Lidl’s baby steps into the US so far

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

German grocery giant Lidl’s baby steps into the US so far

Related tags: Aldi, Lidl

Lidl's scouts are eyeing locations along the East Coast for its first US stores, but other than that, the retailer's US expansion plans have been mostly under wraps.

It’s been nearly a year since global discount grocer Lidl announced its plans to enter the US market, starting with a $77 million investment for a new corporate headquarters​ just outside the capital in Arlington, VA, and a $125 million investment for a distribution center around 60 miles southwest​ from there in a town called Spotsylvania.

But the German grocery chain has been relatively quiet about its progress, generating only media buzz from local news sites when Lidl’s scouts come by, eyeing potential locations for its first batch of stores. “We are actively pursuing sites along the east coast of the U.S., from Pennsylvania and New Jersey down to Georgia,” ​John Froman, a spokesperson for Lidl US, told FoodNavigator-USA.

So far, there have been reports that Lidl may include West Pottsgrove Township​ and Wilson​ in Pennsylvania, Charlotte and Cary in North Carolina​, New Jersey​, as well as the DC area in the roster of its first US locations.

Poised to be a big player

Working out of the small city of Neckarsulm in Germany’s southwest, the chain operates more than 10,000 stores in 26 countries, all in Europe.

Coming across the Atlantic not only means that Lidl is expanding the battleground for its competition against its home-grown rival Aldi, which has been in the US since 1973, but also against local big contenders such as Walmart and Target, especially because Lidl offers deep discounts on not just groceries but appliances, clothes, and furniture (at least that’s the case in its European stores).

Like Aldi, Lidl is known for its no-frills approach by offering a low SKU count compensated with a strong private label offer. Business Insider likened Lidl stores to a cross between Walmart and Trader Joe’s​.

In terms of strategy, the company has kept its mouth mostly shut other than the estimated deadline of 2018 for its first US store openings.

“Our strategy is simple: we are committed to delivering customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices in convenient locations,”​ Froman said.

“We feel our offering will be very attractive to customers here in the US, and we are excited to open our stores and to introduce our customers to a totally unique shopping experience unlike anything else in the market.”

Correction:

An earlier version of the article mentioned that the stores will be opening in Charlotte and Cary counties in North Carolina. The municipalities of Charlotte and Cary are in Mecklenburg and Wake county respectively.

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13 comments

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Wilson, NC

Posted by Chris,

I believe the Wilson store mentioned in the article is NC, not PA. They are nearly finished building there store there.

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Spotter

Posted by Dm,

We are welcoming you in the chesterfield Virginia location, bringing new ideas and items to the area should be very promising to the locals based on what I have been researching about your company, WELCOME TO VIRGINIA USA

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NEW STORE

Posted by BRIAN CANTER,

Lidl is welcomed to Develop in Huntington/Barboursville, WV area, Aldis is picking up a lot here! There is 3.79 acres that will come available by the end of Next year, daily traffic of over 20,000 per day!!

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