ARLINGTON, Va. – Lidl, the German retailer with more than 10,000 stores in 28 countries, entered the United States with much fanfare last year. A year later, the chain has opened a mere 53 stores and hasn’t made as much of an impact on the American supermarket industry as many had predicted, Forbes reports.
The chain had been treated as a threat to Albertsons, Walmart, Kroger and other regional grocers, but nothing much has come of its U.S. entry. What did Lidl do wrong? In short, nearly everything.
Like Aldi, another German supermarket import, Lidl relies on its limited product assortment and mostly private-label goods with a few name brand products. Lidl sells its store-brand products at a steep discount, competing mostly on price, which worked very well in Europe, but has been foiled by Kroger and Walmart matching or beating Lidl prices.
The other problem for Lidl has been its store locations outside traditional grocery shopping areas, including launching the brand in Virginia, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey. Lidl USA units also are twice the size of their European counterparts, and carry nearly three times the number of products.