- Lidl announced it will open four additional stores on July 13, according to a company release. The stores will be in Chesapeake and Culpeper, Virginia; and Havelock and Wake Forest, North Carolina.
- The company said it will also build a $100 million regional headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville, Georgia. That facility joins others already in Spotsylvania County, Virginia; Alamance County, North Carolina and Cecil County, Maryland.
- “Since opening our doors two weeks ago, we have begun the journey of serving our customers with top quality products at the best possible prices every single day,” said Brendan Proctor, President and CEO of Lidl US, in a statement.
The Lidl rollout continues next month with four more Mid-Atlantic stores opening, adding to the 10 that opened to great fanfare on June 15. Over the next year, the discount retailer plans to open 100 locations along the East Coast.
So how’s the potential industry disrupter doing so far? It’s hard to say after just two weeks, but initial impressions from analysts indicate Lidl is delivering on its promises by noting the new stores’ price competitiveness and high penetration of private label. Store designs are elegant while merchandising and signage are built around color codes and simple, easy-to-understand messaging. A few noted Lidl’s wide array of nonfood offerings, known as “Lidl Surprises,” took up more space than expected, and wondered if this might throw off U.S. shoppers used to a more food-focused grocery experience.
As Lidl’s stores steadily come online, the retailer is building up its network of distribution centers. According to Supermarket News, just one facility, located in Spotsylvania, Virginia, is currently supplying stores. The rest are in various stages of development.
Catering to this broad collection of markets could be difficult for a retailer new to the U.S. In interviews with Food Dive, analysts noted Lidl may be underestimating the regional differences it will encounter from one store to another. At the same time, many noted the chain’s ability to quickly change.
“They are able to adapt and innovate at a pace few others can match,” Mike Paglia, director of retail insights at Kantar Retail, told Food Dive. “It’s been a huge factor to their success, particularly in Europe.”
Paglia is bullish on Lidl’s prospects in the U.S. By the end of next year, Kantar expects the discounter to be generating $700 million in sales. By 2023, the firm expects Lidl to have 630 stores and to generate $8.8 billion in sales.