business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe (with a little help from an MNB friend)

There has been a lot of discussion since Lidl decided to begin opening stores in the US about the degree to which it is being effective … with the general sense being that it may take a little longer to gain traction than the company may have expected.

Or a lot longer, judging from the pictures than an MNB reader sent me this week, and that you can see below.

This reader said that over a series of visits to a Lidl store in Greenville, South Carolina, he found empty shelves that never seemed to get filled. Finally, after a third visit, he took these pictures.

“I have discussed with management,” this reader told me, “and the responses have been, ‘trucks late, labor hours cut, and ordering processes still need work’. They spend continue to send me flyers, and email spam, but they never have the specials on the shelves, or anything else for that matter.”

Regardless, the MNB reader adds, management adheres to company policy - "no rain checks and no substitutes.”

Now, let’s be clear. This is one store, and it could be an outlier.

But, it always has been my observation that a persistent problem with many limited assortment stores - including Aldi, Lidl, and Save-A-Lot - is that they are prone to suffering from “nobody gives a damn” disease.

That certainly seems to be what is happening here. And it is an Eye-Opener.

KC's View: