The next competitive threat to American supermarket chains has made its way to U.S. shores. Lidl, which has described itself as a cross between Trader Joe’s and Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, will soon open up 20 stores across Virginia the Carolinas. Within the first year of U.S. operations, the German discount supermarket chain plans to open 100 stores and eventually hopes to expand to 600 stores in direct competition with U.S. leaders such as The Kroger Company (KR), Publix Super Markets Inc. (PUSH), Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM), Giant Food Stores LLC and Safeway Inc.

Lidl boasts more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries, designed “to deliver the highest quality products at the lowest possible price and the most efficient shopping experience possible.” Lidl’s U.S. headquarters will be in Arlington, Va.

Quality Assurance

After more than a year of preparation prior to its U.S. debut, Lidl will challenge U.S. grocery stores already struggling to compete with new consumer trends, online…