German discount chain Aldi has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against competitor Lidl over claims of leaked trade secrets, according to reports.
Aldi alleges Bruna Maraccini, its former director of real estate for North Carolina and Virginia, started working for Lidl and shared details of its expansion plans including future store locations, constructions plans, layouts and cost-reduction strategies. The lawsuit goes on to say Maraccini’s assistant, Colleen Savory, was emailing information to her former boss while still working at Aldi.
“Lidl has struggled in the U.S., in part because of its ill-conceived real estate strategy,” Aldi’s lawsuit reads. Lidl revealed it was expanding to the United States in 2015, establishing its U.S. headquarters, and opening its first stores in the country two years later.
While the discount retailer had planned for an expansive push, it hit several roadblocks that derailed its plans. At the time of Lidl’s announcement to enter the U.S. market, Aldi detailed its own plans to grow the number of its locations.
“The locations of Aldi’s planned stores are not publicly known, and Aldi does not disclose that information outside of those employees within Aldi who have a specific business need to know that information,” Aldi notes in its lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims Maraccini and Savory violated their severance packages that included a confidentiality clause as well as a non-compete clause.