Extreme-value retailer Lidl has laid off hundreds of employees at its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., reportedly informing those affected via email. No store-level workers were let go, according to the company.
When contacted by Progressive Grocer, a Lidl US spokeswoman said: “While we remain committed to the long-term success of Lidl US and look forward to continuing our expansion along the East Coast, we are continually evaluating our operations to ensure we are supporting our stores effectively. As part of this process, we have made the difficult decision at this time to eliminate approximately 200 roles across the company, which took place this week.”
The spokeswoman added that all affected employees would receive severance pay as well as career transition services, COBRA health care continuation coverage, and the payout of accrued but unused vacation.
The grocer has traveled a somewhat bumpy road in the United States since opening its first store in this country in 2017. It struggled to catch on with consumers initially and has experienced various shakeups in its leadership, most recently when Michal Laguionek, a longtime Lidl executive, succeeded Johannes Fieber as Lidl US president and CEO in 2021. In 2018, Fieber had replaced Brendan Proctor, who had led the division since 2015, when it first established its U.S. headquarters. Additionally, Lidl US Chairman Roman Heini abruptly resigned in 2020 after little more than a year, citing personal reasons.
Earlier this week, Lidl confirmed that it recently bought more than 70 acres in Bucks County, Pa., for a future warehouse at the site of the Keystone Trade Center. Company spokeswoman Jessica Shangle didn’t give specifics about the sale — pegged to be close to $145 million — but did note that a project is in the works. “We are still in the early planning phase for the site and will have more to share over the coming months,” she noted.
[Read more: "Lidl to Debut 1st Stand-Alone Ground-Up Store in New York"]
Lidl acquired the property from NorthPoint Development, which owns the 1,800-acre campus on which the warehouse will sit. According to local media, the campus will eventually include more than 20 buildings.
Lidl currently operates several stores in Pennsylvania, including locations in Philadelphia, Lancaster and Reading. The construction of a warehouse comes as Lidl is set to build out a store in the town of Warminster in Bucks County. In January, Lidl held a grand opening for its newest 36,000-square-foot location on New York's Long Island.
Neckarsulm, Germany-basedLidloperates around 11,550 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing more than 341,000 employees globally. The grocer runs about 170 stores in nine East Coast states. Lidl US is No. 89 on the PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.