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A German grocery chain is about to invade America, and has the power to cripple Aldi

A German grocery chain is about to invade America, and has the power to cripple Aldi

The highly competitive European grocery chain Lidl is about to descend on the US, and it’s promising prices that are up to 50% cheaper than existing supermarkets. 

Lidl’s first stores will open June 15, the company said Wednesday.

At least 20 Lidl stores will open this summer in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and the chain will add another 80 stores along the East Coast by the middle of next year. 

Lidl (pronounced lee-dil) plans to eventually open as many as 600 stores in the US, according to a copy of a company presentation obtained by Business Insider. Lidl currently has 10,000 stores in 27 European countries.

In the presentation, Lidl describes itself as a cross between Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter, a grocery chain based in North Carolina.

“We are excited to open our first stores in the United States in a few short weeks,” Lidl President and CEO Brendan Proctor said in a statement.  “When customers shop at Lidl, they will experience less complexity, lower prices, better choices, and greater confidence.” 

The company said Wednesday that its stores will feature a “manageable, easy-to-shop layout of 20,000 square feet with only six aisles.” That means the stores will be about a quarter the size of a traditional supermarket like Kroger, which averages about 77,000 square feet.

Lidl stores will have bakeries on site — located at the entrances — and 90% of the products sold will be made by private-label brands, which Lidl said are free from synthetic colours, trans fats, and added MSG.

The stores will also carry an assortment of organic and gluten-free items including organic fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, and packaged food items.

Overseas, Lidl is known for its rock-bottom prices, and it’s most closely associated with the discount grocer Aldi, which is also based in Germany.

But it appears Lidl is trying to set itself apart from Aldi in the US.

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