ALDI, Lidl stoke U.S. rivalry

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ALDI, Lidl stoke U.S. rivalry

Patrons wait in line to get into a new Lidl store during a grand opening two years ago.

In the summer of 2017 and with much fanfare, deep-discounter Lidl opened its first stores on the East Coast. Germany-based Lidl, which has more than 10,000 stores in 28 European countries, had planned its U.S. arrival for several years and at that time aimed to open 100 stores by mid-2018. That same week, Germany-based ALDI, Lidl’s main rival in Germany and several other European countries, announced that it would expand its network of stores in the U.S. from 1,600 to 2,500 stores by the end of 2022, obviously trying to steal a little thunder from the new kid on the block.

A lot has happened since then. Lidl, based in Arlington, Va., has endured growing pains in the U.S. and it didn’t come close to opening 100 stores by mid-2018. It currently operates about 70 U.S. stores. Batavia, Ill.-based ALDI, meanwhile, has been on a rampage — opening new stores, updating old ones and adding a slew of new products, many of them on the premium level. By the end of 2022, it will be the third largest grocer in the U.S.

While the rivalry hasn’t been much of a rivalry in the U.S., it was stoked a bit earlier this week when ALDI and Lidl, which both offer more than a 90% assortment of private brands, held grand openings of their new stores in Lacey, N.J., that were located just one mile apart.

A headline on, a media subdivision of the USA Today Network that covered the dual openings, declared, “It’s the grocery store wars.” The story also noted that a one-mile stretch of that Lacey area “has become ground zero for a new wave of supermarket competition,” where Walmart and ShopRite also exist.

"It's the grocery store wars. and I think it's great," Lacey Mayor Timothy McDonald told "Four grocery stores within a mile of each other, I think it's going to be good for Lacey residents."

To read the article, click here.

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