Lidl Gearing Up for US Expansion

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17 Feb 2017 --- European discount retailer Lidl is making a move to open in the US with plans to launch the first store this summer and create 100 more in a supermarket shake up that is bound to disrupt the American retail landscape. 

Following months of speculation, the German discounter - which has seen success in the UK and around Europe with its low-price model taking sizeable market share away from other major supermarket chains - has confirmed its US intentions.

Lidl currently runs more than 10,000 stores across 27 European countries and will open its first 20 US stores in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina and will be starting a major recruitment drive shortly. 

It is not known exactly when they will open, but the schedule is understood to be late 2017 or early 2018. Originally, it planned to open its first batch of U.S. stores no later than 2018 and set up its Virginia headquarters back in 2015. 

The German no frills retailer has released details of its US expansion at a time of great competition with the supermarket space. Discounter Aldi has also been expanding recently in terms of offering low prices that focus on its own brands as well as adding to its range of fresh produce and free-from items. 

Aldi operates 1,600 stores in the US, having launched there in the mid seventies. Just last week it announced plans to invest US$1.6 billion in its stores with a remodel as well as expanding more than 1,300 stores by 2020. 

The Lidl group is owned by Germany’s richest man, Dieter Schwarz, son of founder Josef Schwarz. It belongs to the holding company Schwarz Group which also owns the store chains Handelshof and hypermarket Kaufland.