Rendering of the forthcoming Lidl store planned for the Northwood Commons development in Northeast Baltimore
Deep-discount grocer Lidl has revealed plans to open a store in a 100,000-square-foot shopping center in northeast Baltimore, its first location in that city, in a move that one longtime local grocery industry observer said is likely to have a “huge” impact on local shoppers.
Citing developers of the $50 million redevelopment project known as Northwood Commons, The Baltimore Sun reported that Lidl signed a lease for a more-than-30,000-square-foot site that will anchor the center, which will also feature a Barnes & Noble College Cafe and a public safety building for nearby Morgan State University, in addition to McDonald’s, WingStop, Fulton Bank, Bank of America and Sunny’s Subs, among other tenants. The project is expected to wrap up by early 2022.
Arlington County, Va.-based Lidl already operates stores in Aberdeen, Bowie, College Park and Hagerstown, Md., with future locations planned for the state, including Catonsville and Nottingham in Baltimore County, Columbia, District Heights, Lanham and Waldorf, and a $100 million distribution center in Cecil County’s Perryville in early 2020.
Speaking with Progressive Grocer about Lidl, which he likened to “Aldi on steroids,” Jeremy Diamond, whose family ran Baltimore’s iconic Food-A-Rama grocery store chain from the 1940s through the 1980s, noted: “They do it right, have a small-store footprint to fit into smaller retail centers, nice stores, low prices, and they have deep pockets of cash behind them.”
After stumbling a bit in its first year after entering the United States in 2017, Lidl has rebounded, unveiling plans for 25 new stores in seven East Coast states by spring 2020. This month alone, the grocer is opening its first two stores on New York’s Long Island and two more locations in North Carolina -- its first in the cities of Charlotte and Wilmington.
Based in Germany, Lidl operates more than 11,000 stores in 32 countries, employing about 287,000 employees worldwide. It currently operates more than 75 stores in nine East Coast states.