7 Ways Lidl Is Disrupting Supermarket Shopping

There’s a fresh-to-the-U.S.

(Image credit: Photo by Bob Niedt)

There’s a fresh-to-the-U.S. supermarket chain with a funny name that has some very serious plans for American shoppers. Germany-based Lidl (rhymes with needle) is a deep-discount retailer that started rolling out stores in June. Several locations are already up and running in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Delaware. Lidl’s goal is to open another 100 stores along the East Coast within a year and operate 1,400 across the nation by 2023. The U.S. headquarters is in Arlington, Va.

Lidl may be new to you, but the company is no newcomer. It operates 10,000 stores in 27 countries, and has famously squared off against rival German grocery discounter Aldi in Europe, where it has found immense popularity. (Pub denizens even sing a ballad about Lidl (opens in new tab) in Ireland.) The success of Lidl’s business strategy relies on small-but-attractive stores, high-quality store brands, eclectic non-grocery offerings and, above all, super-low prices. If U.S. shoppers embrace the concept, the chain could quickly become a serious threat to a wide swath of retailers, from traditional supermarkets to dollar stores, warehouse clubs to sporting goods stores.

“Lidl’s entry into the U.S. is going to be the greatest thing to raise shoppers’ standard of living since World War II, more than Amazon, more than plunging energy prices; Lidl will precipitate a price war of unprecedented proportions,” says Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consulting firm specializing in retail and consumer goods.

There’s a lot more to learn about Lidl. Sneak a peek.

Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.