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Forbes has a story about German discounter Lidl, which along with fellow discounter Aldi has managed to completely disrupt much of the UK market and now is looking to bring its approach to the US, where it already has said it plans to open 150 stores during its first year here.

Lidl, the story notes, "is preparing to expand up the East Coast, from Georgia to New Jersey, by 2018. It has invested $77 million in a U.S. headquarters in Virginia, about $120 million in a distribution center, and in late August began seeking managers in 12 metro areas, including in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina."

The Forbes suggests that Lidl brings a number of advantages to the US - it is an enormous company (operating 10,000 stores worldwide, with revenue in excess of $62 billion), with what is called a "simple" value proposition that focuses on being "transparent and honest, easy to understand, innovative and able to make its customers feel valued."

As a so-called "soft discounter," Lidl "offers a broader product portfolio and more brand names than a hard discounter, such as Aldi. Hard discounters are marked by a highly limited assortment that is dominated by private labels. Business Insider describes Lidl as a cross between Walmart and Trader Joe’s."
KC's View:
If Lidl gets it right - unlike how Tesco totally fumbled the ball with its Fresh & Easy US operation - I continue to believe that it could be a real threat to traditional grocers ... especially those that do not take it seriously.

If I were a grocer in any market Lidl plans to enter, I would think that it would be important to start competing with it right now.