German supermarket Lidl opens US headquarters

German discount supermarket Lidl will launch its U.S. expansion by opening a headquarters in Virginia. The expansion will create more than 700 jobs in Arlington and Spotsylvania counties, the home base for its headquarters and regional distribution center.

Lidl is expected to invest $202 million into the project, The Washington Post reported.

The announcement comes two years after Lidl's plans to expand in the United States became public. The CEO of the new operation will be Brendan Proctor, formerly president of Lidl Ireland, according to Supermarket News. The U.S. stores are expected to be similar to those of its European rival Aldi, with discount prices but limited selection.

Based in Germany, Lidl is one of Europe's leading retailers, with 10,000 stores in 26 countries. The company is privately held by the family-owned Schwarz Group and, along with its sister banner, Kaufland, generated about $98.3 billion in annual sales last year.

Lidl did not give the number of new stores it would be opening in the United States or a date for store openings. However, sources told Supermarket News that Lidl would build about 100 stores to start, opening no later than 2018.

"We are excited to take this important step to launch Lidl's expansion into the United States and look forward to introducing American consumers to a different type of shopping experience," Proctor said in a statement. "Our philosophy is simple—we are focused on offering customers top quality products at the most competitive pricing in convenient locations. 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 project was made possible by $5 billion in grants from the Governor's Opportunity Fund and $2 million from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant, approved by Virginia's Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

For more:
-See this Washington Post article
-See this Supermarket News article

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