Lidl USA: What Went Wrong And What It Can Do To Recover
Aside from Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, few grocers generated as much press and excitement in 2017 than Lidl’s arrival in the United States. Opening its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Lidl (rhymes with needle) assembled a team of executives and associates with a promise to convince U.S. consumers to “Rethink Grocery” and to open 100 stores by the summer of 2018. Lidl was viewed as being a potential threat to Kroger, Albertsons, Walmart and regional grocery retailers.
Among the products Lidl stocks in its stores are meat, milk, eggs, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, beer and wine. These products, referred to as “lines” in the grocery industry, generate over 80% of sales in a traditional grocery store. Grocery executives feared that Lidl would enter the U.S. and within a few short years, establish a position as the low-price leader for the majority of products purchased by grocery shoppers.
One year later, Lidl has opened exactly 53 stores and has failed to achieve anything close to a viable, long-term business strategy capable of threatening any of the incumbent grocery retailers operating in the U.S