Lidl, the German-owned grocery chain that delayed its own ambitious expansion plans, will now come through on a $100 million investment in Georgia — just in a different city and later than originally planned.
The new 925,000-square-foot warehouse in Covington, the company’s fourth in the U.S., will create 270 full-time jobs, Gov. Brian Kemp‘s office announced Monday. That’s up 20 from the number provided two years ago.
Covington is off Interstate 20 about 35 miles east of Atlanta. Lidl in 2017 said it would place a U.S. headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville, up the Interstate 75 corridor from Atlanta, as it embarked on rapid expansion plan to open 100 stores up the East Coast within a year.
But the company recalibrated its plans, reportedly opting for some leased locations and acquiring some stores rather than solely focusing on capital-intensive freestanding locations.
Lidl, which follows German-owned Aldi and Trader Joe’s into the U.S. market, uses a relatively small footprint, offering curated selection of competitively priced items rather than the greater variety offered by larger grocery stores. Company representatives have said that Lidl would focus heavily on stocking locally sourced produce and meat.
Two years later, the company has 85 locations in the U.S., including four in Georgia, with more on the way. Most recently, Lidl unveiled plans for a 30,000-square-foot location on Memorial Drive in Atlanta. Plans now in the works for 25 more stores would put it over the 100-store mark in the U.S.
Lidl has more than 10,000 stores in 28 countries.