Popular German store may be coming to Salisbury

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

By Amanda Raymond


A new grocery store may be coming to Salisbury.

Lidl, a grocery store popular in Europe, submitted a proposal through Little Diversified Architectural Consulting to purchase 5.75 acres of land from Livingstone College on Jake Alexander Boulevard West, across from Aldi, which happens to be one of Lidl’s main competitors.

According to Preston Mitchell, planning and development services manager for Salisbury, the project would involve a temporary short extension of Brenner Avenue across from the traffic signal. He said it was unknown whether there were any future plans to further extend Brenner Avenue.

The developer is currently going through the review process. Mitchell said if the proposal is approved, the developer will privately negotiate financing and close on the property.

According to Lidl’s website, the first retail stores were opened in 1973 and the store became a household name in Germany by the 1980s.

Lidl has almost 10,000 stores in 26 countries throughout Europe. It offers customers fresh meat, produce, bakery items and household goods. The retailer acknowledged earlier this year its plans to expand into this country and establish its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia.

In July, the company announced it would open a regional headquarters and distribution center in Alamance County.

Company spokesperson John Froman said the regional headquarters and distribution center will create 200 new jobs over the next three years.

The company broke ground for its regional headquarters and distribution center in Spotsylvania County, Virginia at the end of October.

“We plan to build on the foundation that has made Lidl so successful in Europe, while creating a unique experience for American consumers that will be unlike anything else in the market,” Brendan Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl U.S., said in a press release.

Dennis Terry, a landscape architect for Little Diversified, said Lidl is planning on building several stores in the Carolinas. He said if there are no hold-ups, construction on the Jake Alexander property could begin as early as the summer of next year.

Terry said the building would be 35,000 square feet with 137 parking spaces. The store would have sidewalk connections with Jake Alexander Boulevard.

“So far, the information that we’ve received from Lidl leads me to believe that they’re very similar to a Trader Joe’s,” a chain owned by Aldi, Terry said.

The proposed Lidl site is part of 157 acres owned by Livingstone College on Jake Alexander Boulevard. State W. Alexander, III, executive assistant to the president and vice president for communications and public relations for the college, said though there have been parties interested in the property, nothing is set in stone.

“There have been a number of companies that have expressed interest in purchasing the land the college owns on Jake Alexander Boulevard,” Alexander said in an email. “No decisions have been consummated.”

Froman said Lidl plans to open stores broadly across the U.S. by no later than 2018.

“We are committed to offering customers the highest quality product for the lowest possible price in a convenient location,” he said.

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Lidl may be placing multiple stores in the region, including several in Charlotte and one in Mooresville.

A Supermarket News report said Lidl is privately held by the family-owned Schwarz Group,

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.