Lidl US confirms June launch

Lidl USA is set to open the first of its new US stores next month, it confirmed this week.

(Photo: Wiki)

The retailer, which has now launched its US social media sites and started to run advertising, will open its first US stores on 15 June, in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Last year, the German-based discounter revealed its intention to open around 100 stores in the US over the next year, with around 20 stores scheduled to open this summer.

According to marketwatch.com, Lidl’s chief commercial officer Boudewijn Tiktak confirmed at a press conference in New York on Tuesday, that the first stores to open will be in the three states closes to its Arlington HQ, however Lidl US has yet to confirm exactly where its stores will be located.

The company has previously described its entrance into the US market is an “exciting and challenging part of our history in the making” and revealed plans to open stores and distribution centres open along the East Coast before it “expands steadily” across the US over the next few years. It is also planning an app which will offer exclusive coupons and priority messages.

According to Lidl US’ CEO Brendan Proctor, as reported by foodlive.com, the US operation has been in development for two years, with Proctor telling US media at the event that one of the retailer’s strengths was “adapting to the customer’s needs and what the customer wants, and greatly curating the range around that.”

Californian opportunities

In the UK, Lidl over-trades in wine compared to its wider grocery offer, with its bi-monthly Wine Cellar promotional events helping to create a ‘halo effect’ for its wider grocery offer, but it has yet to be confirmed whether the discounter will adopt a similar model in the US.

The US wine selection is being overseen by Adam Lapierre MW, and is set to include wines from Napa Valley, the Oregon Coast, the South of France, and Tuscany, among others, many of them exclusive to the retailer. It is also expected to offer an extensive chilled beer range.

According to the UK BWS team, the opening of the US operation is likely to open up opportunities to stock more US wine across its European operations.

Speaking to db last month, Lidl UK’s wine buying manager Anna Krettmann said she was excited at the prospect of stocking “some great Californian wines” in the UK on the back of Lapierre’s experience and strong links with Californian wineries.

Under Lidl’s European sourcing model, a large proportion of wines are sourced by its wine buying teams located in countries where Lidl operates an office, with these wines then available across the stores’ international estate – and Krettmann said the idea would also be applied to the US. Currently, Lidl’s European roots has meant it has historically been stronger in European wine than New World wines, as buying teams have been able to tap into their connections with local growers.

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