US Insights

Lidl Counts Down to Launch

Mike Paglia

Director, Retail Insights

Retail 05.18.2017 / 16:00

Lidl_Fuengirola

Lidl has announced a date for the opening of its first US store.

Finally, the news we have been waiting for. At a recent press event, Lidl US CEO Brendan Proctor announced that Lidl will open its first U.S. stores on June 15. He also revealed all sorts of details about the stores, assortment, and pricing. You can read all about it in this story, but here are the big points that I took away.

Get ready for low prices

Lidl asserts that its assortment will be priced at “up to 50% less than other supermarkets in the United States.” Take that with a grain of salt, though, as the disclaimer states that the figure is based on a comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores. In other words, there’s a lot of room for interpretation. Nevertheless, our own price survey comparing identical branded items between Lidl and Asda in the U.K. found that Lidl was on average 15% cheaper. That’s still a huge gap, and indicative of the level of price disruption Lidl will soon unleash here. 

These stores will be small supermarkets

This is no dollar store or Aldi. With 20,000 square feet of selling space, six aisles, and a bakery at the entrance, Lidl is clearly seeking to compete with conventional, big-box grocery stores (including Walmart). In fact, Proctor asserted that Lidl’s stores are meant to be a solution for shoppers who want low prices, high quality, and a quick and convenient trip. This positioning is nicely captured in the #RethinkGrocery hashtag featured prominently on Lidl’s social media accounts.

Anticipate a high-quality, better-for-you assortment

Health and sustainability will be key features of the assortment. All seafood will be certified sustainable. Private label items will be free of trans fats, added MSG, and certified synthetic colors. Stores will carry a wide range of organic and gluten- free items. Roughly 90% of the assortment will be private label. Also approximately 85% of the assortment will be sourced from within the U.S.

Lidl seems to be going after a relatively affluent shopper

Contrary to popular misconceptions, Lidl’s core shoppers will not come from low-income households living paycheck to paycheck. Instead, the assortment, value proposition, and overall store positioning seem to be pointing more toward a midmarket shopper, which is consistent with Lidl’s approach in the U.K. and other markets.

Expect the unexpected (promotion)

Each week, Lidl will showcase an array of general merchandise in limited quantities. Examples include toys, small appliances, and apparel. These promotions will be in addition to weekly themed food specials. (Learn more about Lidl’s themed promotions.)

Expansion will be rapid

Twenty stores will open throughout the summer starting on June 15. However, Lidl plans to open 80 additional stores over the next 12 months. In other words, expect 100 Lidl stores up and down the East Coast by summer 2018. The first 20 stores will be in the following locations: 

Lidl Cities Chart

This is where the fun begins. As always you can expect Kantar Retail to be the source for unmatched insights and analysis on Lidl — before, during, and after its U.S. launch.

Source: Kantar Retail

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