ARLINGTON, Va. — Lidl U.S. will open 50 stores in nine East Coast states by the end of 2021. The outlets will be in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. The openings will bring Lidl’s number of U.S. stores to more than 150.
The company will invest more than $500 million in the expansion and create about 2,000 jobs. New Jersey and Maryland will lead the growth with 10 new stores apiece. Seven outlets are slated for Virginia, six for both New York and Georgia, five for North Carolina, four for Pennsylvania, and one for both Delaware and South Carolina.
As part of the chain’s effort to prioritize convenient locations, it will close stores in Havelock and Shelby, N.C. All employees there will be given the opportunity to relocate to another store.
The expansion will be a boon for customers, the retailer says, citing recent academic studies that have documented a cost-cutting effect from Lidl’s market entries. A new study from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, N.C., found Lidl’s pricing to be up to 45% lower than nearby national grocers.
Last month, the National Retail Federation ranked Lidl atop its Hot 100 Retailers list. Compiled by Kantar, the list ranks the nation’s fastest-growing retail companies based on annual sales gains. The top ranking recognizes Lidl’s growing fresh produce offering, store and warehouse infrastructure, and fast-growing sales and customer base, the company said. “Shoppers love Lidl’s low prices, and they are spreading the word about a grocer that gives them more for their money each time they shop, said Lidl U.S. president and chief executive officer Johannes Fieber.
The chain currently operates 103 stores, the most recent openings coming in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody, Ga., and Alexandria, Va., outside Washington, D.C. Earlier in the summer it unveiled stores on New York’s Long Island, in Patchogue and East Meadow.
Since its June 2017 U.S. entry, Lidl has steadily expanded along the East Coast. A little less than two years ago it acquired 27 Best Market stores in metropolitan New York. It debuted its 100th store this past spring in Suwanee, Ga.
Earlier in the spring it premiered a 700,000-square-foot distribution center and regional headquarters — its third — in Perryville, Md., in Cecil County. The company said it will open its fourth warehouse over the next two years in Covington, Ga., east of Atlanta.
July brought a leadership change with the departure of chairman Roman Heini, who left Lidl U.S. after nearly 16 months for personal and professional reasons.