Lidl Wants $9.5M From PA for 6 Stores
As it ramps up its U.S. expansion, deep discounter Lidl is requesting a combined $9.5 million in state redevelopment grants for six stores in Pennsylvania, according to a published report in The Philadelphia Inquirer citing the retailer’s applications for state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding with the Pennsylvania Budget Office.
The Inquirer noted that three of the stores were in the Philadelphia area, including a previously undisclosed location on Roosevelt Boulevard. In its application for this project, Lidl said that the $2 million requested for the location “is the expected amount of costs to remediate the land and remove the structure on the site,” warning that the project was over budget and could be terminated. The company also requested $2 million each for the two other Philadelphia-area stores.
“We often work with local government agencies and apply for available investment programs when we expand into new markets, including on sites that require remediation or rehabilitation,” Lidl US Director of Communications Will Harwood told the newspaper in an email. “This is only one aspect of our decision-making process — the most important factor for us is finding the most convenient locations to serve our customers.”
The RACP program was created to aid redevelopment projects that officials believe could have a big economic impact. According to Lidl’s application, the Roosevelt Boulevard project would bring “a new low-cost retail grocery store to a community that is needing such a project and also is revamping a site that is in need of redevelopment.”
Lidl, whose U.S. headquarters are in Arlington, Va., rolled out its first stores in this country in 2017, but after an ambitious beginning, the company cut back on its expansion plans along the East Coast when store performance failed to live up to expectations. Now, with new U.S. leadership in place, the company is once again moving into new markets; besides Philadelphia, it opened two stores in the Washington, D.C., area last September; has a store slated to open on New York’s Staten Island; and, in its first U.S. acquisition, purchased the independent Best Market chain’s 27 stores on New York's Long Island and in New Jersey.
The retailer currently has one Pennsylvania store, which opened last year in Folsom, and for which it requested $1 million in RACP funds.