European grocery chain Lidl looks to expand into Dover

 

A developer for Lidl, one of the leading grocery retailers in the world, makes a presentation to Dover’s Development Advisory Committee in the City Hall conference room last Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Mike Finney)

A developer for Lidl, one of the leading grocery retailers in the world, makes a presentation to Dover’s Development Advisory Committee in the City Hall conference room last Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Mike Finney)

DOVER — Lidl, a German giant in the European grocery market industry, has taken some of the first steps toward building a 36,185-square-foot grocery store right near the heart of downtown Dover.

Developers for Lidl met with members of Dover’s Development Advisory Committee in the City Hall conference room Wednesday to fine tune details regarding plans for building a new grocery store on 6.95 acres between Kings Highway and North DuPont Highway.

Lidl is one of the largest retailers in the world, operating nearly 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe.

The company established its U.S. corporate headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia, last year and will be opening a regional headquarters and distribution center facility in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

The combination of the moves are all part of Lidl’s early preparations to launch its expansion into the United States market — including a grocery store in Dover. It is expected to open dozens of stores on the East Coast of the United States starting in 2018.

“I can say we are actively pursuing sites in Delaware,” said Will Harwood, a spokesman for Lidl. “We haven’t made any individual announcements regarding locations yet.

“We’re still very early in the process, but we’re very excited to be coming to Delaware. Our company is really committed to delivering a convenient shopping experience that’s unlike anything on the market.”

Mr. Harwood said that Lidl markets offer customers fresh meat, produce and bakery items, as well as a wide selection of household goods, at the lowest possible prices.

“We look forward to introducing American consumers to a different type of shopping experience,” said Brendan Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl US. “Our philosophy is simple: we are focused on offering customers top quality products at the most competitive pricing in convenient locations.”

The Lidl grocery store project in Dover will include a Parcel Consolidation Plan to re-subdivide the six parcels on site into three and abandon the unimproved right-of-way known as Midland Road.

Construction would involve demolition of all existing buildings on site.

The Dover shopping center itself will feature a contemporary look and the building will gently slope from a high of 29 feet at the front of the store to the rear. Lidl promises to compete with other low-price chains such as Wal Mart and Food Lion for bargain-hunting customers.

Mr. Proctor is excited to get the company’s expansion into the United States moving forward and Dover appears to be among the first sites of its expansion.

“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 on the market,” he said.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ new site

Members of the Development Advisory Committee also reviewed a site plan application to permit the construction of around 34,813-square-feet of retail and office space in four buildings and other site improvements from 1116 to 1128 Forrest Avenue in west Dover.

The project would relocate the current Dunkin’ Donuts, which is at 1230 Forrest Ave. It includes a parcel consolidation plan to merge the six parcels on site. The project’s initial phase consists of one 7,389-square-foot building with three tenant spaces, one of which will be occupied by a Dunkin’ Donuts and another by a restaurant.

Construction would involve demolition of all existing buildings on site. The property consists of 7.7 acres and is located on the south side of Forrest Avenue west of Saulsbury Road.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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