Brendan Proctor, Lidl U.S.

lidl brendan proctorThe August 14 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 12th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Brendan Proctor, Lidl U.S., President and CEO

PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Brendan Proctor has headed up Lidl operations in several countries for the company, successfully enough that he has been given the charge of launching the hard discount grocery chain in the United States. In 2011, Lidl promoted Proctor from evp/sales in Austria to president and CEO of the company’s operation in that country. In 2013, Proctor took on the president and CEO position at Lidl Ireland. He moved to America to take the U.S. president and CEO role for the company as it expands here.

WHAT TO WATCH: Lidl has completed its initial wave of store openings in the U.S. and, although many more are planned, consumer reaction to those locations in the Southeast will be critical. How consumers will respond to the retailer’s low-cost private label offering is a key factor. Lidl comes into the market with an offering that’s bigger and more polished than its main international rival, Aldi, although their low-service approach to the consumer is similar. However, Aldi has committed to a significant investment in expanding and remodeling stores. It will be critical for Lidl to get its footing quickly if it is to build out stores at a rapid enough pace to get the economy and scale it needs to compete with Aldi, Walmart, Kroger and other retailers that are targeting it.

European grocery operators have often been challenged when launching in the U.S. Carrefour, Aschan, Marks & Spencer and others all have failed in the U.S. and even those who have established themselves, such as Ahold and Delhaize, have struggled.

PERSPECTIVE: Because it must expand quickly to compete with European-owned success stories Aldi and Trader Joe’s, Lidl’s research and market adjustments to operating in the U.S. have to be on target if its expansion is to go as planned. “We are excited to announce new growth and investment in our U.S. expansion,” said Proctor.

2018 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):