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The European grocer plans to open 500 stores across the country.
Trader Joe's and Aldi lovers, there's a new grocery store (almost) in town: Lidl, the European grocer, will open 100 stores along the East Coast by sometime next year, the chain says, and some 500 more will open in years to come across the country.
According to the announcement, covered by Business Insider, Lidl will open its first 20 U.S. stores by mid-2018 in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. That's an exciting prospect for people who already love to shop at grocery stores such as Aldi, Trader Joe's, and even Harris Teeter—chains known for their deep discounts and high-end brands.
Though its rock-bottom prices mean Lidl—which has 10,000 stores in 27 European countries—is most often compared to Aldi, the chain said in a presentation obtained by Business Insider that its U.S. stores will more closely mimic Trader Joe's or Harris Teeter.
"After three years of research, we [Lidl] discovered that U.S. consumers don't like discount groceries," according to the presentation. "Unlike Aldi, the Lidl will be a hybrid similar to Trader Joe's or Harris Teeter, but closer to a Trader Joe's. We will sell high-end brands, quality not quantity, best products only." Those products include locally sourced produce, wine, and coffee from private-label brands.
Each store will be between 30,000 and 36,000 square feet, which is about double the size of an average Aldi, Business Insider says. But though it's trying to set itself apart from its rival, Lidl and Aldi share some unmistakable similarities: Both brands ask customers to bring their own shopping bags to the store, and to bag their own groceries. Loyal customers likely won't mind, however, as that's just one way Lidl keeps its prices so low. (In 2015, the same year Lidl was awarded Grocer of the Year, customers could snag extra virgin olive oil for what is now $2.47.)