Lidl’s entrance into the U.S. has been something more of an adventure than the company may have anticipated but it is making adjustments.
The German deep discount chain— with grocery as its core business but a significant and flexible general merchandise assortment including housewares as a key element— has gone through executive changes and a rethink of its location strategy since initially opening stores in the Southeast in 2017. Lidl recently announced that Johannes Fieber had been appointed president and CEO, assuming supervision of operations from Brendan Proctor, who himself took over leadership of the German retailer’s U.S. launch in 2015.
Lidl spokesman William Harwood said that Lidl’s expansion in the U.S. will proceed and, despite facing some detractors who have questioned its potential for success, the company remains confident that it can manage the process of establishing a solid foundation for U.S. growth.
Lidl’s strategy regarding general merchandise, which has had a variable, treasure hunt assortment built around key housewares categories including kitchen gadgets and cookware, and a strong seasonal component, continues to focus on quality at prices consumers will find surprisingly low, which is the heart of the company’s value proposition.
A look at Lidl’s Thomasville, NC, store, visited this spring, provides a sense of how and what the retailer provides shoppers including a largely private label core home furnishings and housewares product assortment as well as the significantly placed and promoted seasonal merchandise assortment. Even if the store dimensions vary, product merchandising, which derives from Lidl’s well-established European operations, will continue along similar lines and may give Lidl some leverage with consumers who can’t resist a bargain.
See the gallery for a tour of Lidl.
Lidl in Thomasville, NC, opened based on the company’s initial ground-up prototype build.