York County Council is considering a rezoning request that could bring a Lidl store to Fort Mill.
The German-based discount grocer announced plans last summer to open a U.S. headquarters in Virginia and begin launching stores in the domestic market.
A public hearing on the request was scheduled for Monday night, after press time.
“Our philosophy is simple – we are focused on offering customers top quality products at the most competitive pricing in convenient locations,” Lidl U.S. CEO Brendan Proctor said in June.
“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 in the market.”
The rezoning involves six landowners and more than seven acres around the intersection of Pleasant and Coltharp roads. The rezoning would bring together commercial, zoning and light industrial properties. County staff recommends in favor of the rezoning.
Lidl has been in business more than 40 years. There are about 10,000 stores in 26 European countries. According to its U.S. website, Lidl is looking at real estate to add stores in eight states, from Georgia to Pennsylvania. The company is targeting sites of at least 3.5 acres for 36,000-square-foot standalone stores, with at least 150 parking spaces.
Lidl began as a grocery wholesaler in 1930s Germany. The first modern store opened in the same country, in 1973. In a little more than a decade from that time there were 300 stores. Lidl was top five among the world’s largest retailers by 2015. Lidl employs more than 230,000 people.
“It’s really the offering,” said Will Harwood, Lidl spokesperson. “We’re committed to offering the best products at the lowest prices.”
It’s still early for the push toward U.S. stores. A store model hasn’t yet been developed, though Harwood expects stores to be similar to others in Europe.
“We’ve got our roots in Europe,” he said. “We’ll open our first stores here no later than 2018.”
Specifics aren’t available on when a store would open in Fort Mill.