German grocery giant looks at store sites in Dover, Elkton

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800px-Lidl_in_Lomma,_exterior
An Lidl store in Sweeden. (Creative Commons License)

A giant German-based grocery store chain is setting up shop in Cecil County, MD with a distribution center near Perryville and a store in Elkton, the Cecil Whig reported.

The company is also looking at store sites in Elkton, MD and Dover.

The newspaper reported Lidl has taken out a permit for a $100 million distribution center off Route 40 and  Interstate 95 in the Perryville area. The expansion of the company to Cecil was announced at a County Council meeting.

The distribution center would allow the company to build out a chain of U.S. grocery stores along the East Coast.

The company has 10,000 stores in more than two-dozen nations, but is lagging behind German rival Aldi in building stores in the U.S.

The Whig story went on to report that the chain will build a store in Elkton that would be served by the distribution center. Lidl, according to its website has about 10,000 stores in 26 countries. The company’s budget stores are a rival to Aldi, another German company that has a  store in Elkton.

In July, it was reported that the company has proposed a store site near downtown Dover, the Delaware State News reported.

Lidl has established a U.S. headquarters in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Arlington, VA. and is planning to operate a distribution center in Virginia.

Company spokesman William Harwood issued the following statement earlier this year.

“ We are in the early stages our expansion in the US and have not yet made individual store announcements. However, I can tell you we are actively pursuing sites in the state and are looking at a location for a distribution center, although we have not yet made a formal announcement.”

A story on Lidl in Business Insider reported the company is a cross between Walmart and Trader Joe’s, an upscale grocery chain that is also German-owned.

The story reported that the expansion of Lidl has upended the grocery business in the United Kingdom, forcing rivals to lower prices and lay off staff.

The Lidl website reported the company is targeting an area extending from Pennsylvania to North Carolina for its stores.

Cecil County has been successful in landing distribution centers along the I-95 corridor. Companies with distribution  centers include Rite Aid, RH (Restoration Hardware) and Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA.

By contrast, neighboring New Castle County in Delaware has little land along I-95 for distribution centers.

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