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USA: Aldi far outpaces rival Lidl in share of wallet

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Discount Retail Chains Aldi and Lidl are two German grocery retail rivals on different paths in the U.S., but despite these opposing routes, the discount grocers do have some similarities, according to an analysis by customer data science specialist Dunnhumby.

Dunnhumby's “Aldi, Lidl – Their Different Trajectories in the U.S. and How Each Should Still Scare Competitors Going Forward” report published Tuesday found that both retailers share the same playbook, especially when it comes to private-brand success.

“Both have north of 80% of sales on private brand, far above the industry standard of 20-25%,” Dunnhumby reported.

Dunnhumby’s Grocery Retailer Preference Index (RPI) study also noted that both grocery retailers rank in the top five when it comes to customer perception of “private brands can save me money.” Aldi ranks first, while Lidl is fifth, the report indicated. But there is a clear winner in this rivalry: Aldi is leading when it comes to shopper spend.

According to Dunnhumby’s RPI database, Aldi captures 22% of a shopper’s grocery budget, while Lidl captures 16%.

From a growth perspective, in the past three years, Aldi U.S. has expanded more than any other major retailer, Dunnhumby reported in its latest findings. And with the recent deal to acquire Winn-Dixie, Aldi is set to add some 400 stores to its portfolio.

Lidl, on the other hand, has had its challenges, especially when it comes to leadership in the U.S. The grocer has had five chief executives since debuting in America in 2017. And new leader is set to start next month. Last Thursday, Lidl told WGB that “as of September, Joel Rampoldt will be responsible for Lidl's U.S. market as chief executive officer. Joel has many years of extensive retail expertise and has worked at Alix Partners, a global consulting company, as a Partner & Managing Director, and at KPMG.”

Owned by the Schwarz Group, Lidl US last month closed 11 of its grocery stores in the eastern part of the country. And in February, Lidl US laid off about 200 workers at its corporate headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Lidl's decision to plant its flag on the East Coast also contributed to its difficulties, the report said.

“Lidl could have avoided going head-to-head with Aldi by starting on the West Coast instead of the East Coast, but they didn’t,” Dunnhumby said. “As a result, Aldi is cross-shopped by 55% of Lidl customers in the U.S.”

With its pending acquisition, Aldi will grow its presence in Publix's territory in the Southeastern U.S., something the discounter is comfortable with, the report noted.

Forty-five percent of Publix shoppers in Florida already shop at Aldi, Dunnhumby said, adding that, "They’re shopping there for produce, dairy and other fresh items (Publix’s wheelhouse), not just packaged food.”

Despite its weaknesses when compared to Aldi, the report said Lidl has "done a good job driving app adoption."

Source: Winsight Grocery Business



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