Lidl, which operates around 10,000 stores in Europe, is reported to have previously indicated an interest in the US market

Lidl, which operates around 10,000 stores in Europe, is reported to have previously indicated an interest in the US market

Discount retailer Lidl has confirmed it is exploring the possibility of entering the US market.

A spokesperson for the group said it was carrying out feasibility studies that are expected to be completed by the end of 2014 or early 2015. The retailer said it has entrusted Lidl Ireland MD Kenneth McGrath and Lidl Ireland property director Kevin Proctor with completion of the study.

"Please understand that we are not yet in a position to comment on the specifics relating to planned investment at this time, and will be able to provide appropriate information in this regard on conclusion of the study," the spokesperson added.

Lidl, which operates around 10,000 stores in Europe, is said to have previously indicated an interest in North America. In 2003, it announced plans for "aggressive expansion" in Canada, in what would have been its first venture outside Europe. The plans, however, were reportedly called off due to difficulties in finding suitable real estate and because of the intense competition it would face in the sector.

Fellow German discounter Aldi has over 1,500 namesake and Trader Joe's stores across the US.