- Lidl will invest $100 million to build a new distribution center in Covington, Georgia, according to an announcement from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. This will be the grocer’s fourth regional distribution center in the U.S.
- The 925,000-square-foot facility will serve as a regional headquarters in addition to supplying Lidl stores in the region. According to the press release, Lidl chose the Georgia location for its logistics infrastructure.
- The project is expected to create 270 jobs. Lidl currently operates four stores in Georgia in the cities of Augusta, Mableton, Marietta and Snellville and employs more than 150 people.
The investment in Georgia is notable considering Lidl only operated one store in the state until last year. In 2019, the grocer opened three more stores in the Atlanta metro area. According to reports, the discounter has several additional sites under development around Atlanta.
Lidl U.S. chairman Roman Heini said in a statement the centrally located facility would help the company deliver products efficiently and expand its network of stores across the region. The grocer has received widespread support from both local and state leaders during the process, Heini noted.
Lidl has three other regional distribution centers located in Fredericksburg, Virginia; Graham, North Carolina; and Perryville, Maryland to support existing stores. Though no other distribution centers have been announced, Lidl’s flurry of store openings in New York and New Jersey could drive a need for another warehouse in the Northeast.
The move brings Lidl further down the East Coast toward the Southeast, which is relatively uncharted territory for the discount grocer. It’s also a hotbed of activity. Kroger is building an Ocado facility near Atlanta in Forest Park, Georgia, and Publix is one of the largest grocers in the state. Walmart also has a major presence, and Whole Foods recently opened a flagship location in midtown Atlanta.
The expansion in Georgia is part of Lidl’s major push to grow its footprint in the U.S. and open 25 new stores on the East Coast by this spring. The grocer expects to have 100 U.S. stores operating in nine states by the end of the year.