business news in context, analysis with attitude

An MNB reader wrote in yesterday that ground has been broken for a new Lidl store in Indian Land, South Carolina, just a half-mile south of the North Carolina border.

This store, the reader noted, "will be  about 500 yards from a Walmart Super Center, 1 mile from an Aldi, 1 mile from a Harris Teeter and about 1.5 miles from a Publix.

"They will all get firsthand knowledge how to compete with the newcomer."

A quick Google check reveals that Food Lion also has a store in the market.
KC's View:
In fact, my argument would be that all these retailers ought to have been competing with Lidl before the first shovel tip got plunged into the ground. Because if they wait until Lidl opens and has an opportunity to tell its story and establish its narrative, it'll be too late.

By the way ... the Cincinnati Business Courier reports this week that Kroger's McMullen told analysts that his company has been watching Lidl for a long time. "We started studying Lidl eight to 10 years ago,” McMullen said. “Our assumption was that they would come to the U.S. at some point. We know them and respect them ... For us, it’s really making sure we understand who our customers are and how do we deliver against that."

You have to dictate your own narrative - and control the story to the best of your ability - before new competition tries to change the game.