- Lidl will open its first New Jersey store on Nov. 16 in Vineland, according to a company release. The company will open three other stores on the same date, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- Lidl also announced it will begin introducing 500 new items as part of a holiday selling push, starting Nov. 2. This includes 200 premium food and wine products and 300 nonfood gift items and decorations.
- The new items, which will cycle in every Monday and Thursday, appear in categories throughout the store, and range from apple cider donuts to ski wear and sparkling rosé. The discounter says it will offer a two-pack of Maine lobster tails for $12.99 starting November 30.
Despite reports of underwhelming customer traffic to its now 40 stores, Lidl is pushing ahead with its plans to open 100 locations by the end of this year.
With its move into New Jersey, Lidl enters a state dominated by just the sort of conventional grocers it likes to target. This includes ShopRite, with more than 130 locations throughout the state, along with Acme and Stop & Shop. According to reports, the discounter has locations planned throughout southern Jersey, including Camden, Gloucester, Burlington and Atlantic counties.
Looking beyond this year, Lidl’s expansion plans are less clear. The company has been developing locations in Ohio, Alabama and Texas. However, reports note the discounter has drastically scaled back its plans in Georgia. Lidl had planned to build dozens of locations in the Peach State, along with a regional headquarters and distribution center, but according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, which interviewed local retail business developers, the company may only build five locations in the state.
Lidl, in response, has said Georgia is “still a focus” for the company.
With its holiday product launches, Lidl remains committed to the idea that a rotating selection will draw new customers to its stores. The discounter is known for frequently refreshing its assortment, and its weekly “Surprises” promotion, in which stores introduce eye-catching general merchandise, is unique in the grocery industry.
This tactic seems to be a very effective draw for some shoppers. Food Dive recently interviewed customers at Lidl locations in Richmond, Virginia, and found that many had come to the stores to check out products featured in circulars mailed to their homes. Industry observers, though, contend that new product releases can’t mask the retailer’s over-emphasis on nonfoods and packaged grocery products.
Lidl has a reputation for being able to switch up its strategy and store layouts in addition to its products, so more significant changes may start appearing in stores as the discounter adjusts to life in the states.