Lidl US in store search ahead of summer opening

Lidl US has started its search for sites in the US ahead of opening around 20 new stores across the East Coast this summer.

(Photo: Wiki)

The retailer, whose US operation is based in Arlington, Virginia, has already revealed its intention to open around 100 stores in the US over the next year, with 20 stores set to open this summer, according US news site Business Insider.

The company described its entrance into the US market is an “exciting and challenging part of our history in the making” which will see the first stores and distribution centres open along the East Coast before it “expands steadily” across the US over the next few years. It has already embarked on a search for sites within established retail areas close to urban centres that can offer a 36,000 sq. ft. stand-alone store with parking for 180 cars.

The discounter is currently advertising for suitable sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia on its US website, as well as recruiting corporate, retail and warehousing staff.

According to Business Insider, its distribution centres will be located in Cecil County in Maryland, Mebane in North Carolina, and Fredericksburg in Virginia, and the retailer is eyeing up to 600 US stores in the longer term.

The retailer is also advertising for local suppliers and has confirmed it will sell locally-sourced wine, as well as fresh groceries and local produce. However it has not yet responded to an enquiry from db whether it will sell wines from outside the US.

In Europe, the discounter employs a wine-sourcing model whereby buyers in countries where Lidl operates an office and buying team source wine in the local region, with these wines being available across the group. This opens the possibility of Lidl’s European shops having greater access to wine from the US, although Lidl has not confirmed whether it will adopt this model in the US.

In the UK, Lidl over-trades in wine compared to its wider grocery offer, having established strong sales of wine, dominated by its bi-monthly Wine Cellar promotional events. These have helped create a ‘halo effect’ for its wider grocery offer, its UK team has said. However it has yet to launch an e-commerce operation in the UK, despite ramping up its ambition in Europe. In the latest Kantar Worldpanel data for the UK, Lidl saw sales up 8.6%, boosting its market share by 0.3 percentage points to 4.5% of the grocery market.

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