Wednesday, January 2, 2019

[UPDATE] Lidl to Debut First Three Atlanta Area Stores

German discount grocery chain Lidl will later this month make its long-awaited debut in metro Atlanta.  Lidl (pronounced “LEE-dul”), announced Wednesday that it will open its first three stores in the Atlanta area over the course of few weeks, starting in Powder Springs/Austell (2641 Powder Springs Road SW) on Wednesday January 16. The Powder Springs/Austell opening will be followed by store debuts in Snellville (3821 Stone Mountain Highway) on Wednesday January 30 and Mableton (4844 Floyd Road SW) on Wednesday February 13.  
The Lidl in Powder Springs/Austell August 2018 

Readers of ToNeTo Atlanta have noted that the three metro Atlanta stores have sat built, finished and seemingly ready to open for months.  

"On grand opening day, doors will open at 8 a.m., immediately following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the first 100 customers will be presented with a gift card ranging from $5 to $100 each."

"Shoppers also will be able to sample an array of Lidl’s products and receive a complimentary Lidl reusable bag while supplies last. The festivities will continue throughout the grand opening weekends with games, activities, prizes, special deals and giveaways."

All three of the upcoming Atlanta area stores will be about 36,000 square feet and will be freestanding. Real estate sources indicate the grocer has considered both smaller and non-freestanding stores for future growth.  

In 2015, Lidl announced plans to open 50 stores in Georgia by 2018.  That plan fell about 49 stores short with the only current store open in the Peach State located in Augusta where it debuted September 2017.  Real estate sources indicate the grocer recruited a new, young and inexperienced real estate team and their freshness showed in their inability to get deals done.  The grocer was said to be involved in, proposing or had LOIs (letters of intent) out with more than a dozen developers, but pulled the plug on basically everything.  There are no other additional Lidl stores known to be definitively confirmed in metro Atlanta at this time.  

Lidl is seen as a hybrid between Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter, and a close competitor to fellow European discount grocer Aldi. Lidl offers food staples at cheaper prices than many traditional supermarkets, such as Kroger and Publix, but also features baked goods, baby items and a curated selection of proprietary clothing such as a limited edition collection from super model Heidi Klum. 

Lidl operates about 10,500 stores in 29 countries. In the U.S., the grocer has opened stores in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, having also previously announced plans to enter Texas, among other markets.  

The grocer, which established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia, focused on the Southeast to expand its U.S. footprint.  Initial goals of opening up to 100 locations across the region by the end of 2018 fell short with about 60 stores open.  

The grocer announced plans in June 2017 to invest $100 million in Cartersville in Bartow County to construct a distribution center and regional headquarters that would employ 250 people.  This past April, though, Lidl asked Bartow-Cartersville Second Joint Development Authority for "some flexibility in the delivery of their jobs and investment."  It's unclear when the development will actually come to fruition.  

Are you excited for the opening of Lidl in metro Atlanta?  Have you ever been to a Lidl?  Where would you like to see Lidl open next?

Please share your thoughts below  


andrewj4442 said...

Lidl is a little like Fresh n' Easy. I'm not so certain about their future and neither are they..... Wait see situation.

CloseOTP said...

I've never been to Lidl, but will check it out. The closest one to me is about 6.5 miles which isn't close considering I can walk to a Publix and drive less than 5 minutes to a Kroger and Aldi, but I want to see what they offer. I used to be very hesitant to shop at Aldi, but lately I go there often. While I don't buy meat there and their variety of items are limited, it is crazy how much less I spend on similar products. Some of the regular items I get there are 30-50% cheaper vs Publix/Kroger. I can't tell the difference between their Pretzel Crisps @ $1.99 per bag vs Snack Factory's for $3.49 at Kroger. I got 1/2 gallon of milk for $1.09. Tortilla Chips for $.89 vs $3.49 for Tostitos. It adds up!

I did just read a Wikipedia article about Fresh n' Easy as mentioned by the previous comment. Hopefully Lidl will find the success of Aldi and not the failure of F&E! I'm sure it'll be an uphill battle. People are loyal to their grocery stores.

Anonymous said...

Bad location for Snellville for many reasons including demographics, but mostly because it is on the wrong side of a congested divided highway. This location will fail. Lidl is already struggling with it's entrance into the US market.

Greenwave said...

Lidl needs to set up shop where Fresh Market closed on North Druid Hills.

Anonymous said...

I dealt with them on one of the sites they pulled the plug on. They assured us the site was one of their most desired locations in the region and then, apparently, it wasn't. They were tremendously difficult to deal with and after seeing their performance so far, I think our client dodged a bullet by them terminating the deal.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think the demographics will break it, Aldi does well off Scenic Highway near Centerville with similar demography. You could also argue Aldi’s on the wrong side, but I do think 78 is worse than 124. We’ll have to see how it pans out. I will shop there as I live less than 5 minutes away, and both Kroger and Publix have been gone at Killian Hill/78.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:19 The demographics are drastically different. Aldi is in the Brookwood (school cluster), but the demographics where Lidl mistakenly decided to locate might as well be Shiloh / South Gwinnett. Furthermore, Lidl should have picked a location where many commuters on 78 can easily stop in on their way home from work like they do just down the street at Walmart Market. Location is everything. US 78 heading into ATL in a decaying section of Snellville is a FAIL for Lidl.

Anonymous said...

I visited a Lidl in North Carolina last year out in part due to curiosity while I was passing through. I liked the store but didn't see anything compelling about it to make me select it over Aldi, Trader Joe's, etc.

Public and Kroger are the big players for sure and while I prefer Publix, Kroger is more convenient to my home and it's one of the nicer ones in the area. I confess to not being super familiar with 3 chosen locations other than by name I wonder if they will be able to gain a foothold in the areas. Low prices are attractive but to an unknown brand moving into a new area they seemed to pick odd locations.

Anonymous said...

Went to the Concord NC location during the holidays and was NOT WOWed by this grocer. No different than Aldi just a more modern. Check out their FB page as many VA & NC posters are unhappy they have promised stores and backed out, others just begging for them to come to them. Nothing but malcontent whiners on social media publicly embarrassing themselves, or anonymous SJW bots.

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