In a surprise announcement, the developer of New York City’s Staten Island Mall confirmed that German grocer Lidl will open a store next year as part of a project redevelopment.
The location would be the first in a regional shopping mall—and the first in New York—for Lidl U.S., which previously said it was looking at opening stores between New Jersey and Georgia, with most of those in suburban or rural locations. The Staten Island Mall by contrast sees about 12 million visitors a year, and could serve as a beachhead for an urban invasion by the hard discounter, Strategic Resource Group's Burt P. Flickinger III told WGB.
"If Lidl can blow open Staten Island, it can blow open all of New York, and Long Island, and New Jersey," Flickinger said.
The shopping center previously had a deal in place to locate a 50,000-square-foot Fairway Market as part of its redevelopment, but the deal collapsed amid Fairway’s financial struggles, including a stay in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“This is a milestone for the Staten Island Mall,” James Easley, senior general manager of Staten Island Mall, said in a statement provided by the mall’s developer and owner, General Growth Properties of Chicago. “Adding our first grocery store is part of our transformation to becoming an all-encompassing community hub. We are honored to be home to Lidl’s first New York location and know our guests will embrace this exceptional grocer.”
Lidl will occupy 36,000 square feet in the mall, where its co-anchors will include the Apple Store, department stores Macys and JC Penney, and fashion retailers including BCBG Max Azria, H&M and Forever 21. Its addition “establishes a well-rounded customer experience of convenience, dining, retail and entertainment,” the developer said. The multi-phased mall redevelopment project entails the expansion of an entirely new wing on on side of the property, consisting of two new building structures as well as a three-level parking deck, which opened in December.
In addition to Lidl, the expansion includes a plethora of new entertainment, retailers and dining options, and a centrally located exterior plaza is being created to provide a space for community gatherings and seasonal events.
“We are excited about the addition of Lidl to Staten Island,” said James Oddo, borough president of Staten Island, in a statement. “It is particularly noteworthy that this international grocery retailer chose to build its first store in our state right here on Staten Island. Each announcement of a new retailer coming to the Staten Island Mall means more jobs for our residents and new shopping options for Staten Islanders. Lidl is a company that makes customer satisfaction their top priority, and we are looking forward to opening day.”
Lidl U.S., based in Arlington, Va., referred questions about the Staten Island unit to General Growth. Separately, it announced plans to open its 49th U.S. store in Fredericksburg, Va., on Feb. 15. That store was the site used as Lidl’s original test model for its U.S. prototype, but had not opened to the public.