German grocery giant to make a big USA debut ahead of schedule

Traditional convenience retailers in Europe have found it hard to compete with discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi.

Lidl is coming out of the starting gate in the United States earlier than expected - and it isn't going to waste any time ramping up its store base.

The wait is over, Lidl is finally here.

German department store chain Lidl's American expansion is kicking into gear: the chain will open its first 20 American stores in the summer, a year ahead of schedule. It did not say which cities where the grocery stores will open. Lidl expects to open 100 stores no later than 2018, according to Reuters and the Associated Press. "The company chose to go with a larger format because it thinks that it will need to offer a wider array of items to thrive in the USA market", notes the Post. Lidl and Aldi were placed in the third position for customer satisfaction and value for money beating all the major grocery chains in the country.

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Lidl has had its USA headquarters in Arlington, Va., since 2015.

But can Lidl take on Aldi?

It has recently struggled in its home market as many German shoppers have shifted to mainstream supermarkets, prompting the discounter to offer more brands and spruce up it stores while also expanding overseas.

Lidl now runs more than 10,000 stores across 27 European countries and will open its first 20 U.S. stores in Virginia, North Carolina and SC and will be starting a major recruitment drive shortly.