Lidl in America: An Early Read

On June 15, 2017, Lidl made its much-anticipated U.S. debut as nine stores opened their doors to customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Already the largest discount grocery chain in Europe, the Germany-based grocer is expected to shake up the American grocery business.

The competition is fierce, with traditional grocers like Kroger and Wegman’s, discount retailers like Walmart and Target, and now online giant Amazon, which recently announced its plan to buy Whole Foods. Lidl executives have said they plan to offer prices that are as much as 50% lower than other stores.

Now that Lidl has celebrated its one-month anniversary in the U.S, it’s time to find out how they’re doing in the early going. InfoScout has analyzed receipt data captured by our proprietary mobile apps, as well as live survey data provided by early Lidl shoppers, to find out who these shoppers are and their initial impressions of Lidl.

So Who’s Shopping at Lidl?

Based on data from Lidl’s first six weeks in the U.S., early shoppers tend to be older adults with some college education who make $40,000-$60,000 or $80,000-$100,000. They typically come from smaller households of two or three people. Shoppers are motivated to check out Lidl so they can investigate the stores, compare prices, and try something new.

How Much Are Early Lidl Shoppers Spending? Are They Going Back?

The average household has spent over $67 at Lidl, with most of those dollars going toward produce, meat, and dairy products. They spent about $33 on their first trip, purchasing an average of 14 different items. And as of late July, 41% of Lidl shoppers had already made two or more trips to Lidl. These repeat shoppers are not just visiting more than once – they’re spending more and buying more items, indicating a general acceptance of Lidl’s new stores.

Where Else Do Early Lidl Shoppers Go for Groceries?

The majority of early Lidl shoppers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia currently shop for groceries at Walmart, Aldi, and Food Lion. Specifically, 75% of Lidl shoppers also shop at Walmart, and 35% said they shop at Walmart for groceries more often than any other retailer. When it comes to Aldi, 68% of Lidl shoppers buy their groceries here, with 15% shopping at Aldi most often. Coming in third is Food Lion, where 60% of Lidl shoppers buy their groceries, with 15% shopping at Food Lion most often.

What Do Early Shoppers Think of Lidl Thus Far?

According to our survey of 400 early Lidl shoppers, they like the prices, selection, bakery products, and produce at Lidl, and feel these strengths give Lidl a competitive advantage over other grocery retailers. Other strengths out of the gate include great customer service and clean, well laid-out stores. When shoppers return to Lidl, they most look forward to shopping fresh categories, such as produce, bakery, dairy, and meat and fish.

Overall, Lidl is making a positive first impression at its first nine stores in the U.S. More than half of Lidl “triers” believe Lidl is better than other leading grocery retailers. Nine in 10 said they were satisfied with Lidl, and more than eight in 10 plan to make a return visit within the next month.
In the coming months, InfoScout will continue to collect and analyze data about Lidl shoppers and their impressions of Lidl’s pricing, product quality, selection, service, and store format. As more stores open and more Americans are introduced to Lidl, we’ll also begin to see a clearer picture of which retailers are losing customers to Lidl, and Lidl’s overall impact on the grocery sector in the U.S.

This is only the tip of the (Lidl insights) iceberg! Do you want to understand what is driving repeat Lidl trips & purchases, full trip circuits, the role of Lidl private label, how people purchase across multiple categories, which retailers are losing share to Lidl, and more? Contact us at hello@infoscoutinc.com for more information about our Lidl Syndicated Studies.