Although the evidence has been mounting for some time that Lidl’s performance in the United States was not living up to expectations, Klaus Gehrig, CEO of the deep discounter’s parent company, Schwarz-Group, has joined the chorus of those pointing out the American rollout’s shortcomings.
In an interview with the German business publication Manager for an article whose title translates to “Expensive Failures,” Gehrig noted, “Several things have gone wrong,” among them poor site selection, locations too large and too expensive to operate, and a lack of insight into Americans’ product preferences.
As a result of these factors, Gehrig told Manager that he expects only 20 stores to open in 2018, rather than the 100 originally planned, for a total of 68 U.S. stores. However, he remained hopeful that the chain would ultimately improve its business in the States by “return[ing] to many of the old Lidl virtues which made us so successful.”
Meanwhile, Lidl US has revealed plans to open its latest store, in Fredericksburg, Va., on Feb. 15.
For more information, see the story on the website of Progressive Grocer’s sister publication Store Brands.