Lidl’s first American stores’ performance was “frighteningly weak”, German and American media report. The board will take measures and The German company has strengthened its grip on its overseas operations.
Lidl opened its very first American stores on 15 June and has major ambitions. With the #RethinkGrocery, it tried to position itself as an innovator and its arrival sparked a feisty price war in the United States. Within three months of its first American store, it has 37 stores, but the results have been disappointing, with the boards growing increasingly impatient.
The usually very well informed Lebensmittel Zeitung says former Lidl Spain CEO, Michael Aranda, will now supervise the American activities straight from its German headquarters in Neckarsulm. The discounter is not satisfied with how its expansion plan is being executed and that is why it will strengthen its grip. Some stores are performing “frighteningly weak”, American Supermarket News says.
Lidl spokespeople confirm Aranda’s appointment, but deny that the American expansion is in trouble. According to them, the preliminary results are “beyond expectations”. The chain will open new stores in the next few weeks, in North Carolina and Virginia.