Lidl‘s conquest of the United States is not going very smoothly. The discounter has appointed yet another new CEO and closes a dozen unprofitable shops.
Time for returns
Shortly after appointing an “umpteenth” new CEO for the US, Lidl has had to repeat the process yet again. Michal Lagunionek has decided to return to Europe and is replaced by Joel Rampoldt. The choice is striking, as Rampoldt has so far worked as a management consultant and has neither experience as CEO, nor in food retail, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports.
Still, a tough task awaits him: Lidl is still struggling to gain a firm foothold in the United States. Last weekend, a dozen more loss-making shops were said to have closed their doors permanently. In February, the chain also cut administrative staff there. Group Lidl CEO Kenneth McGrath now insists on profitability and choosing locations wisely.
Rampoldt already believes in the disruptive power of challengers such as Aldi, Amazon and, of course, Lidl, and sees particular benefit in private labels. Currently, these only have a market share of around 17 % in the US. Geographically speaking, Lidl is concentrating on the east coast, where it is looking for new, successful locations. There are also plans to open a logistics centre in Pennsylvania and launch a customer panel to understand local needs.