While Lidl’s first wave of U.S. stores nears a break on the East Coast, the discounter is setting sights further afield with future stores on tap across the Appalachians in Western Pennsylvania and into Ohio, sources told SN Thursday.
Will Harwood, a spokesman for Lidl US, confirmed that the German discounter was also looking at sites in Ohio, but said the company was not yet prepared to formally expand there. Several months ago, Lidl similarly acknowledged its representatives were seeking sites in Texas, but an announcement on that development has still not materialized.
Local reports this week indicated Lidl had sought approval to acquire a site for a future store in Austintown, Ohio, near Youngstown. Also this week, the Cincinnati Business Courier said real estate agents there reported Lidl was seeking “multiple sites” around Cincinnati and Dayton.
David Beitz, a partner in Beitz & Diagh Geographers, whose Planned Grocery tool tracks store openings, on Thursday told SN its database also showed Lidl sites in planning around Erie, Pa., and Pittsburgh.
The Midwest sites in the pipeline; as well as planned stores in Texas, likely indicate Lidl would seek sites to establish distribution centers and regional headquarters as it has in three locations along the East Coast. Those sites will support a wave of stores set to begin opening this summer. Planed Grocery, which tracks published records of proposed, planned and under construction sites in its database as of Thursday identified 130 U.S. Lidl sites. MTN Retail Advisors, a Salt Lake City-based site analysis firm, using different criteria, said earlier this month it was tracking at least 233 Lidl sites.
Beitz said Planned Grocery has confirmed two sites around Houston where a Lidl store is proposed, but no sites between Texas and the East Coast states already announced, indicating Lidl could — for now, anyway — skip over the Gulf states.