Washington. The best comes at the beginning. Just behind the entrance is a large, self-catering bakery: fresh rolls, crunchy biscuits, German walnut bread and sourdough bread baked on site. German fermenter did that to me. Since I discovered this great man in the land of soft white bread, we’ve been friends – me and Liddell.
This is five years ago. Shortly after Donald Trump entered the White House, we both started from scratch in the United States. Meanwhile, the discount has spread with 167 branches. I’m still squatting in my butt. There is a lot of business competition from Germany: in the cheap Aldi (south) there are 2,100 branches. Trader Joe’s Smarter Supermarket, a subsidiary of Aldi Nord, has 530 stores.
The fact that German food chains have succeeded in America seems strange. This is probably because the product range is streamlined, presentation is more efficient and cashiers are light years faster than Walmart & Co.’s.
Newcomer Lidl also had to learn the hard way: the new branches look more austere than the prototypes with a neat glass front. Fortunately the bakery stayed. And the special brand “Preferred Selection”: they have German sausage, fruity German strawberry jam and even an “Authentic Black Forest Ham”, on its packaging a black forest lady with a red Bullenhot smiles. To do this, one would happily drive twelve miles outside Washington city limits, where the nearest Lidl is.
At least for now. At the end of the year, the group announced the opening of its first store in the American capital – in the predominantly African-American region of Anacostia. Mayor Muriel Bowser attended this opening in person. She hailed resettlement as a “milestone”.
The German politician hardly says that about Lidl. But the Prophet does not count anything in his homeland.
Carl Domains He is the RND correspondent in the USA. He explains what drives the world’s largest economy every Wednesday in his “Global Economy” column – rotating weekly with colleagues in China, Great Britain, Russia and Eastern Europe.
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