September will be a busy month for the expansion of Lidl grocery stores in Pennsylvania.

The German grocer plans to open two new stores in Montgomery County this month.

The first area Lidl store scheduled to open on Wednesday, Sept. 4, is at 1831 E. Ridge Pike in Upper Providence — a 15,000-square-foot location.

The second area Lidl store scheduled to open on Sept. 18 is at 2613 Ridge Pike in Lower Providence — a 19,000-square-foot location.

Both grand opening events — Sept. 4 and Sept. 18 — kick off with a ribbon- cutting at 7:40 a.m., just prior to the store opening at 8 a.m. The grand opening events will include samples, special offers, giveaways and prizes for shoppers. In addition, the first 100 customers at each grand opening event will receive gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $100, according to the company.

The stores are the fourth and fifth Lidl supermarkets to open in Pennsylvania — part of an expansion plan outlined by the company in May, to open 25 stores by 2020. Other Pennsylvania stores are in Easton, York and Philadelphia, and a second Philadelphia location is expected to open by spring 2020.

“We are receiving extremely positive feedback from customers in Pennsylvania and we think Lidl will enhance the shopping experience for customers across the state. We look forward to expanding into more communities in the future,” said Lidl spokesman Chandler Ebeier.

He added that customers shopping at Lidl will find a variety of items, “from high quality, organic options to fresh bakery and sustainable products such as our seafood,” in addition to low prices.

“I would call out specifically that Lidl was ranked a top 3 U.S. grocer by Food & Wine Magazine and our shopping experience is unlike anything in the market,” he added.

Of note, according to Ebeier, is that Lidl has been recognized in academic studies as driving prices lower for shoppers in areas where Lidl opens new stores. A study earlier this year from the University of North Carolina found that retailers in the immediate vicinity of Lidl stores dropped prices on individual products by as much as 55 percent on average in areas where Lidl operates.

Lidle stores feature wide aisles, natural light, fresh-baked goods and organic and gluten-free items. In addition, about 90% of the products sold at Lidl are its exclusive private label brands.

The store manager for the Upper Providence store is Tim Pianka, who said the team has been “prepping for the grand opening and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to the store on September 4.” The new Upper Providence Lidl store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday starting Sept. 4

The Lower Providence store manager is Darnell Mason, a Philadelphia native, who said he is “excited to bring Lidl’s high quality and low prices close to home.” The Lower Providence store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday starting Sept. 18.

While store employment numbers vary, Ebeier said each of the new Montgomery County Lidl stores will have about 50 employees.

No additional Lidl stores are forecasted for Pennsylvania, according to Ebeier, beyond those outlined in the May expansion announcement. A Lidl store reportedly planned for a 22-acre site on the north side of Upland Square Road in West Pottsgrove — and talked about for the last four years — is not on the list. 

“We have not announced any stores beyond the ones listed that we plan to open by spring 2020,” Ebeier added. He had not information about the proposed West Pottsgrove project.

Lidl was founded in Germany in the 1970s and came to the U.S. in June 2015, establishing its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va. The chain competes against another German grocer, Aldi, which has been engaged in its own U.S. expansion. Lidl operates about 10,500 stores in 29 countries.

In May the company announced plans for 25 new stores in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia by spring of 2020. By the end of next year, Lidl expects to sell its products in more than 100 stores and create more than 1,000 new jobs across nine states.

“We are committed to long-term growth in the United States and always strive to locate in the most convenient locations for our shoppers,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US, said in the May press release. “These new stores are part of the next steps in our U.S. expansion.”

For more information, visit www.Lidl.com.

Email business story ideas to business editor/writer drovins@21st-centurymedia.com.

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