Lidl will invest more than $500 million and create approximately 2,000 new jobs as it opens 50 stores in the Eastern U.S. by the end of 2021. With this expansion, the German retailer, which opened its first U.S. store in 2017, will operate more than 150 stores in the country.
The new stores will be located in Delaware (1), Georgia (6), Maryland (10), New Jersey (10), New York (6), North Carolina (6), Pennsylvania (4), South Carolina (1) and Virginia (7).
The first of these stores will open this weekend in Dunwoody, Ga., followed by a location in Alexandria, Va. on September 9. Lidl also plans to shutter two stores in North Carolina and offer the employees the opportunity to move to another location.
To support these ambitious growth plans, Lidl opened a 700,000-square-foot distribution center (DC) in Maryland in March, and will be constructing a 925,000-square-foot DC in Georgia over the next two years, investing more than $200 million in the two facilities.
Study: Lidl Lowers Long Island Prices
New York’s Long Island has been a prime market for Lidl’s expansion since its acquisition of Best Market in late 2018. After remodeling and rebranding 24 Best stores, Lidl had opened four additional stores by December 2019.
A recent study by Katrijn Gielens, Professor of Marketing at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, quantified the impact Lidl has had on its competitors’ pricing in the Long Island market.
In 2018, Gielens studied Lidl’s effect on pricing by comparing prices at competing retailers operating near Lidl stores with pricing in markets where Lidl was not present. Prices were approximately 10% lower in markets where Lidl competed.
In the first week of March 2020, just before the beginning of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were issued in New York, Gielens found that Lidl’s prices were 45% lower than Trader Joe’s, 40% lower than local supermarket chain King Kullen, 34% lower than Stop & Shop, 18% lower than Target and 10% lower than BJ’s Wholesale Club. Although Walmart, Costco and Aldi had lowered prices when Lidl first entered the market, the study found “no observable price differences” in March 2020.