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Lidl’s U.S. Expansion Targets Atlanta Area

The German discount grocer is investing heavily in fulfillment
Lidl has big food retail dreams for the U.S.

Lidl will soon open its newest store in the U.S., an effort supported by the Germany-based food retailer’s growing fulfillment network.

The new store is located in Peachtree Corners, Ga., the fifth Lidl location in that state, and the 99th Lidl store in the U.S., the company said. The pandemic means the store will open without a ribbon cutting and other dramatics. The store will operate under pandemic hours, opening from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays set aside for senior citizen shoppers.

Lidl also maintains a customer limit of five customers per 1,000 square feet. “A designated team member will be stationed at the entrance of our store keeping track of customer counts, disinfecting carts and directing customers to queue once that limit has been reached,” the food retailer said. “Lidl has also added signage in the store and on the floor to enforce social distancing, as well as in-store announcements reiterated throughout the day.”

The discount grocery chain opened its first U.S. store about three years ago, and has been steadily building a distribution network along the East Coast to support Lidl’s ongoing retail expansion. Lidl aims to build a network that can handle distribution operations for at least 1,500 stores.

The most recent fulfillment facility opened earlier this spring in Perryville, Md., which is midway between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. The 705,000-sq.-ft. facility is the smallest of the company’s DCs. The company’s first distribution center in Fredricksburg, Va., just south of Washington, D.C. measured 919,000-sq.-ft. An 850,000-sq.-ft. facility that opened in the summer of 2017 is located midway between Greensboro and Durham, NC. A fourth facility, the company’s largest to date at 925,000-sq.-ft., will be located in southeast of Atlanta and an opening date has not been disclosed.

Each distribution center requires an investment of about $100 million.

Based in Germany, with its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Va., 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.

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