German grocery giant Lidl is promising some game-changing approaches to retail as it chases German rival Aldi into the U.S. market with its first 10 stores opening in Virginia and the Carolinas yesterday and 10 more scheduled to open this summer.

Shoppers reportedly lined up outside some locations for hours, requiring store employees and police to direct traffic as lines snaked around parking lots.

Lidl has been promising some remarkable pricing and upscale quality as it enters the U.S. market — here’s the first look at just what that structure looks like: You can actually see the first Lidl weekly ad here.

And this Youtube video explains Lidl’s approach to specials:

Lidl and German competitor Aldi are making plans for mammoth inroads into the U.S. retail market. Aldi has a head start — surprisingly the company has quietly operated in the U.S. since 1976 and its Trader Joe’s division launched in 1979 — and operates 1600 Aldi stores here along with 418 Trader Joe’s locations.

But Lidl is wasting no time catching up. The company already operates 10,000 stores in 28 European countries and plans to open 100 in its first year in the U.S. About 90 percent of the items offered are store brands and the company is promising prices as much as 50 percent lower than U.S. competitors.

For those who’ve been wondering what that might look like, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported June 15 that Lidl’s private label goods feature “packaging mimicking the real thing in many cases… Inside Lidl, it’s Boss Light brand of beer sat next to Bud Light, and Tide was next to Complete Clean. Elsewhere, store displays showed Lidl’s brand of Mega Energy, priced at 99 cents versus Monster Energy at $1.88.”

On June 11, Aldi countered by announcing a $3.4 billion investment to expand to 2500 stores in the U.S. by 2022. Earlier this year the company announced a $1.6 billion investment to expand to 2000 stores by the end of 2018.

When that project is completed, Aldi will be the third largest retailer in America, behind only Wal-Mart and Kroger.

Unless new kid on the block Lidl takes off like a rocket.

Some pronounce “Lidl” to rhyme with “needle” others say it rhymes with “riddle”. Regardless, the chain has won fans cross Europe with surprisingly high quality merchandise despite the lower price points, as the song below by UK artist Andy Conway clearly shows — it’s gotten almost 1.2 million plays on Youtube since its release in 2014.

Lidl US became the most successful exhibitor in the history of the INDY International Wine Competition earlier this month, competing against 2,000 entrants and coming away with 104 medals including Sparkling Wine of the Year and 5 Best of Class trophies, as well as 6 Double Gold, 17 Gold, 64 Silver, and 17 Bronze medals. That performance came on the heels of Lidl’s success at the 2017 LA International Wine Competition, where it was also the top performing retail exhibitor, with 101 medals earned including 16 golds and 5 best of class.

Also earlier this month, Lidl stunned the U.S. market with the announcement that it had partnered with supermodel and designer Heidi Klum for its first ever fashion collaboration, which will be available exclusively at Lidl and will launch across its network of stores later this year.

All Lidl stores are roughly 20,000 square feet with just six aisles and will be open Monday-Sunday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Lidl first established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, VA in June 2015. Since then, it has announced regional headquarters and distribution centers in Spotsylvania  County, VA; Alamance County, NC and Cecil County, MD.
Lidl says the first 100 stores, newly constructed standalone retail properties that Lidl owns and developed, will create 5,000 jobs. Industry analysts estimate Lidl will have about 330 U.S. stores by 2020. The company has said it is open to leasing locations for some of those.

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