America’s largest supermarket chain is suing America’s newest supermarket chain for trademark infringement.
German discount giant Lidl, which operates 10,000 stores in Europe, opened its first U.S. locations, all in the Southeast, over the past couple of weeks. This week they got a greeting card from behemoth Kroger in the form of a lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that Lidl’s “Preferred Selection” private label is too close for comfort to Kroger’s private label “Private Selection”.
Kroger asserts that Lidl will have an unfair market advantage — they say consumers may believe the two companies or lines are associated, never mind Kroger’s 20-year head start in the market. Lidl filed its trademark brand just last September.
“As a direct result of Lidl’s wrongful conduct, Kroger has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable injury,” the lawsuit states.
Lidl opened its first U.S. stores in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina over the last two weeks and will expand to 20 locations this summer. Another 80 Lidls are scheduled to open enxt year. and add another 80 by the middle of next year.
Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the U.S. with almost 3,000 stores.