Brendan Proctor out as CEO of Lidl US, Johannes Fieber taking over
Lidl US, which has endured growing pains in the U.S. since opening its first stores last summer, has made a change at the top: Johannes Fieber is now president and CEO and succeeds Brendan Proctor, who led the U.S. expansion from June 2015.
No reason was given for Proctor’s departure. “Lidl management thanks Brendan for his service,” a press release stated.
While Lidl’s entry into the U.S. last summer was marked by much fanfare in the trade and mainstream media, it has been criticized since for its poor selection of store locations, and stores that are too large and expensive to operate. Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US has also scaled back its growth. The deep-discounter said it wanted to have 100 stores open by mid-2018, but that number will now be just under 70 stores for the entire year.
Despite the reduction, Will Harwood, Lidl US's communications director, told Store Brands the retailer sees much opportunity for growth in the U.S. and looks forward to moving into new markets. Harwood emphasized that Lidl is taking a "agile and adaptive" approach to store openings.
"We are looking forward to building on the progress we have made," he said.
Harwood said Lidl was "grateful" for Proctor's contribution and noted that it's "normal for leadership to change."
In the press release, Lidl said Fieber has extensive retail experience and has been with Lidl for about 10 years, serving in multiple Lidl countries. Most recently, Fieber served as CEO of Lidl Sweden for more than two years.
“I am honored to be able to lead our expansion in the U.S., and look forward to building on the progress that is underway,” Fieber said in a statement. “Lidl has received positive feedback from our U.S. customers, who are excited about Lidl’s unique offering and shopping experience. I look forward to continuing our expansion into additional markets this year, and introducing more customers to Lidl’s high quality products and low prices.”
Lidl operates about 10,500 stores in 28 countries, and offers a 90 percent assortment of private brands.