“We are excited to expand into many great communities on Long Island and across the New York City area and introduce more customers to our simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, which will mean high quality and huge savings for more shoppers,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US.
Lidl - a predominantly private label retailer that operates in almost 30 countries - plans a “step-by-step transition process that will begin next year and will involve the remodeling, reinvestment and reflagging of Best Market stores to converted Lidl stores."
All Best Market employees will have guaranteed employment opportunities with Lidl following the transition.
Lidl - which keeps prices low by offering a limited range and a strong private label offer - opened its US HQ in Arlington County, Virginia, in June 2015, and opened its first stores in June 2017 with ambitious plans to open 100 more by mid-2018.
Since then, progress has been somewhat slower than anticipated, however, with Lidl now operating 59 stores in seven east coast states.
According to a recent report* from digital marketing specialist Catalina exploring how local food retailers are impacted when Lidl sets up shop in a new neighborhood, 60% of the sales declines experienced by competitors came from just three departments: produce, beer and wine.
A further 33% of the sales declines experienced by local rivals in the 16 weeks after a Lidl store opened, came from seafood, meat, deli, frozen, and bakery; while just 7% of lost sales were from shelf stable grocery and general merchandise categories, which typically account for 40% of store sales. Read more HERE.
Lidl’s US stores – with a larger footprint and range (up to 4,000 skus vs 1,000-1,500 skus) and a greater emphasis on organic, locally-sourced and free-from products, higher-traffic locations and higher-quality fixtures and fittings (timber) – cost more to operate than their European counterparts, noted analysts at Bernstein during a visit to one of Lidl's stores last summer.
"Aldi prices with Harris Teeter service and quality is not sustainable… But the model won't be static from here. In our view Lidl still has a lot to learn, including in general merchandise, the labor model and adapting the wine offer. We expect the model to flex and adapt to the US market as the company searches for the optimum proposition.”