Lidl Sets 1st Wave of Long Island Invasion

Hard discounter unveils the first of several rounds of new stores
Photograph by WGB Staff

Lidl’s forthcoming Long Island invasion will be denser than initially expected, with new stores to be built in addition to conversions of acquired Best Market stores.

The Arlington, Va.-based hard discounter said the first of several waves of new stores includes locations in Plainview, Babylon, Huntington and Center Moriches, all of which will open by early 2020.  Lidl said it will remodel Best Market stores currently in Babylon and Huntington, while the Plainview and Center Moriches stores will be new builds, with the Plainview site replacing a Best Market store currently operating in Hicksville.

As it pursues smaller store sites in markets that tend to be denser and wealthier than the Southeast sites of the company’s initial fleet, Lidl’s expansion to Long Island, in part through the Best Market acquisition, marked a new pivot in the German discounter’s U.S. invasion. Details of the first wave of conversions provide answers to some questions of how the retailer would approach the variety of sites that Best Market operated, including many that were second-generation retail stores.

“We are happy to soon bring Lidl’s unique and fresh approach to grocery shopping to Long Island,” Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl U.S., said in a release. “Our new stores will allow customers to save time and money each week with a simple and efficient shopping experience. We also look forward to celebrating our grand openings with many familiar faces from the local Best Market teams.”

Lidl said the opening plan represents a heavy investment on Long Island that will utilize local contractors and guarantee jobs for Best Market employees, who were folded into the latter's team following the acquisition of the 27-store chain that was completed late last year. Lidl has been operating those stores under their current format.

A description of the new stores resemble existing units which will include a semi-service bakery at the entrance but no service deli, meat and seafood counters. About 90% of the items in the store will consist of Lidl’s exclusive brands, and assortments will include rotating non-food specials called Lidl Surprises.

Lidl operates 65 stores in six East Coast states. A new store is set to open May 1 in Easton, Pa.


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