It looks like Lidl is putting the brakes on its aggressive U.S. expansion plan.
The Arlington, Va.-based arm of the German hard discounter originally planned to have 100 stores open by 2018, but a German financial news outlet is reporting the company plans to open fewer, smaller stores.
The company opened nearly 50 stores in 2017, and by the end of 2018 plans to have about 30 more up and running, according to an article in Handelsblatt.
The news outlet is reporting stopped and abandoned site projects in New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and points out Lidl originally planned to wait until 2018 before opening in the U.S., and pushed plans ahead of schedule in early 2017.
The first Lidl stores in the U.S. were roughly twice the size of a typical European store, the article points out, with stores outside of a typical Lidl urban area. New plans show a scaled back option, with stores located in town centers with a higher population density.
Even with the uncertainty, the article suggests Lidl’s expansion plans will pick up again, with 300+ stores by 2020.
“The effect that Lidl’s market entry has is gigantic, which cannot be overestimated,” Michael Rogosa of Planet Retail told Handelsblatt. “Even if Lidl is dissatisfied with the start, it is, in our view one of the most successful market entries in the USA in the past decades.”