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EXCLUSIVE: Lidl Set To Delay OZ Roll Out Of New Stores

EXCLUSIVE: Lidl Set To Delay OZ Roll Out Of New Stores

The group who are a major seller of budget consumer electronics and appliances was hoping to get their first Australian stores operational by 2016.

Lidl operates nearly 10,000 stores in 26 countries throughout Europe. The company keeps a lid on prices by buying narrow ranges of private-label products in bulk, giving it immense bargaining power with suppliers.

ChannelNews has been told that Lidl is currently working to open 108 stores in the U.S by 2018 a move that could delay the Australian roll out of 40 stores as the group wants to put all their core resources into the US market before moving into the Australian market. 

“Lidl should be treated as a formidable threat,” writes Neil Stern, an industry analyst with McMillanDoolittle in the US who is tracking the expansion plans of the German Group. 

Based in Germany, Lidl’s stores are similar to Aldi, another German grocer that’s been growing rapidly in Australia for the last few years. The stores offer a small selection of groceries, appliances and consumer electronic goods – the majority of which are its private label – at a discount to most other grocers. 

The similarities to Aldi, could make it easier for Lidl to make headway Australian markets over what Coles and Woolworths are currently offering.

The US announcement marks a step in what’s fast looking like an arms race between Lidl and Aldi for who can conquer the U.S. discount grocery market. 

In the US Aldi has a head start, already having 1,400 stores in the country. In Australia Aldi is taking advantage of turmoil at Woolworths and the collapsing market share of independent super?markets supplied by wholesaler Metcash to ramp up its $750 million expansion plans in South Australia and Western Australia, opening up to 20 stores in each state by next year.

Aldi has confirmed that they will open its first 20 stores in SA early next year with the Company already briefing suppliers of appliances and consumer electronics that they are looking to expand their range of goods next year. 

The initial 20 Aldi stores planned for WA are now expected to be open for business between June and December 2016.

Aldi now has 350 stores that generate around $5.3 billion a year in sales.