Today: 18.07.2018
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German grocer Lidl’s US growth spurt is losing steam.

Lidl is losing its appetite for big stores. The fast-growing German discount grocer has recently switched gears and will now include in its expansion plans store locations the size of a drugstore — or less than half the size of its original growth strategy, The Post has learned. After charging out of the gate in...
Time: 12:38     Date: 12.12.2017
Last US Business News: German grocer Lidl’s US growth spurt is losing steam. NY Post 24 - US News

The fast-growing German discount grocer has recently switched gears and will now include in its expansion plans store locations the size of a drugstore — or less than half the size of its original growth strategy, The Post has learned.

After charging out of the gate in June with a bold plan to open as many as 100 locations over the next year — each about 36,000 square feet and built from the ground up — Lidl now wants to move into existing buildings as small as 15,000 square feet, according to William Harwood, a spokesman.

“We are actively looking at a number of sites that are smaller,” Harwood told The Post. “It gives us more flexibility to accelerate our growth.” The company will continue to build its own stores but is also looking for smaller rental properties.

Industry experts say Lidl is responding to declining customer traffic in its new stores.

Research from inMarket, a retail marketing company that tracks customer loyalty, showed that customers were drawn to the newly opened Lidl stores over the summer, choosing it over Walmart, Aldi, Kroger and others. But Lidl was not able to maintain the bump, according to inMarket.

“When you are shrinking the size of the store by 50 percent that’s a pretty big shift,” said Dan Glickberg, with food consultancy Rodeo CPG. “It looks like they are retrenching from their initial strategy.”

The grocer, which has 10,000 stores in Europe, is making a big play for budget shoppers in the US and has already opened 47 stores in six states.

But recently it has been retreating, pulling out of at least four locations in several states, including Virginia and Pennsylvania, according to local media reports.

Harwood declined to address those reports, saying Lidl has “a large portfolio of more than 400 sites” and that Lidl is “always taking feedback and adapting.”

“Their new strategy suggests to me that they are not hitting their sales per week numbers,” said Jim Hurtwell, senior vice president of Inmar Willard Bishop Analytics.

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