ARLINGTON, Va. — Lidl U.S. has a new president and chief executive officer — Johannes Fieber was appointed last month to oversee the German company’s expansion in the United States.
Fieber, a 10-year Lidl veteran who previously served as CEO of Lidl Sweden, succeeds Brendan Proctor, who had been in charge of U.S. operations since 2015 and has agreed to take on a new role with the company.
“I am honored to be able to lead our expansion in the U.S., and look forward to building on the progress that is under way,” Fieber said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing our expansion into additional markets this year, and introducing more customers to Lidl’s high-quality products and low prices.”
Long lines of shoppers greeted the openings of Lidl’s first nine U.S. stores last summer. But its plans for more than 600 U.S. stores within five years hit a snag as the retailer struggled to win over American shoppers. Projects under way in Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania were reportedly halted or abandoned while the company revisited assumptions about store formats, private labels and pricing. Late last month, municipal officials in Decatur, Ala., said Lidl had abandoned plans to open its first Alabama store in the city.
Lidl, part of the privately owned Schwarz Group, runs more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries in Europe. In many ways, the retailer is similar to Aldi, another German food retailer that woos consumers with rock-bottom prices.