Dover Lidl to open Feb. 5

DOVER — Under construction for the better part of a year, Lidl announced an opening date of Feb. 5 for its new Dover location on 150 North DuPont Highway. A grand opening ribbon cutting event kicking off at 7:40 a.m. will offer shoppers “special deals, gifts and giveaways,” noted the discount grocery chain.

The Dover store will be the Lidl chain’s second in the state. The Middletown location opened in August 2017. It was also announced several weeks ago that Lidl intends to open a third location in Bear. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

“We look forward to expanding the Lidl brand in Delaware and giving the community an award-winning grocery store that will be an easy choice for shoppers in Dover,” Dover store manager Ryan Garcia said in a statement.

An international discount grocery store headquartered in Germany, Lidl operates more than 11,000 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing around 287,000 employees globally. Lidl’s products include produce, meat, bakery items and household goods — both locally source and imported.

Lidl spokesman Chandler Ebeier noted that the Dover store will feature their familiar “easy-to-shop layout.”

“The store will have a sales floor area of about 17,000 square-feet and will bring dozens of jobs to the area,” he said.

For several weeks, the Dover Lidl has had a sign posted on U.S. 13 advertising open “store associate” positions starting at $13 per hour. The chain claims to be employee-focused, noting they “offers wages and benefits that are above the industry standard in every market.” Lidl also recently announced its plans to expand health care coverage to all workers, including those working part-time.

The Dover store will be the chain’s second in the state. The Middletown location opened in August 2017. It was also announced several weeks ago that Lidl intends to open a third location in Bear. Mr. Ebeier noted that it’s too “early along in the process” to share further details about that site.

The continued expansion in the state appears to be a part of Lidl’s planned growth along the East Coast. The chain first established its U.S. headquarters in Virginia in 2015 and now has more than 85 stores across nine East Coast states.

In their native country, Lidl and ALDI are well-known. It seems their rivalry in the discount grocery market will continue as they both expand in the U.S.. ALDI opened a Dover location in June in the Capital Station shopping center mere blocks from the new Lidl. They have stores about the same distance from one another in Middletown.

Lidl has been in talks to open a store in the state’s capital since 2016 when they approached Dover’s Development Advisory Committee. After bouncing plans back and forth several times with city planning, they closed on the 7.5-acre stretch of U.S. 13 in late 2018 for $3.4 million.

A demolition permit was issued in early 2019 to clear the mostly vacant site before starting construction in the late spring.

In the originally approved site plan, a 7,500 square-foot retail building was included in addition to the Lidl store. It’s unclear if that portion of the project will be completed.