Lidl, which has struggled since it entered the U.S. 17 months ago, is expanding its footprint after announcing it has signed an agreement to acquire 27 Best Market stores in New York (26 stores – 24 of which are on Long Island) and New Jersey (Holmdel is its sole Garden State store). The Best Market store in Newington, CT is not part of the deal.
Lidl said it plans a step-by-step transition process that will begin next year and will involve the remodeling, reinvestment and reflagging of Best Market stores to converted Lidl stores. All Best Market employees will have guaranteed employment opportunities with Lidl following the transition. Team members will be welcomed into positions with Lidl that offer wages and benefits that are equal to or better than what they currently earn with Best Market. The terms of the acquisition agreement were not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close over the coming months.
“Best Market has played an enormously positive role in the area, and we look forward to working closely with Best Market employees to build on that success,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US. “We are excited to expand into many great communities on Long Island and across the New York City area and introduce more customers to our simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, which will mean high quality and huge savings for more shoppers.”
Fieber, a 10-year Lidl veteran, became U.S. CEO in May, replacing Brendan Proctor who led the company’s U.S. efforts when the company opened its first U.S. stores in June 2017.
“Today is a great day for Long Island, our Best Market team, and our valued customers in New Jersey and New York,” said Aviv Raitses, co-owner of Bethpage, NY-based Best Market. “Partnering with Lidl on this deal offers our employees a secure future with a growing grocer and continues the great tradition we started more than twenty years ago. We are delighted to be part of such a win-win and Best Market customers have something great to look forward to with Lidl.”
The acquisition also expands Lidl US’s Mid-Atlantic footprint with its entry into New York State. The highly successful German-based discounter, which operates more than 10,000 stores in Europe, has struggled in the U.S. where it currently operates 59 U.S. units that are located in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with most of its stores in Virginia and the Carolinas. The discounter opened two New Jersey stores in the past month – Eatontown and Union – and has another two other Metro New York stores planned for Hazlet, NJ (opening on November 28) and Staten Island (opens next year).
Lidl has spent billions on infrastructure since it first announced it would enter the United States in 2014. Until this acquisition, Lidl had purchased most of its real estate, built the stores and hired personnel to operate those stores. Additionally, it opened a well-staffed, large and modern U.S. headquarter complex in Arlington, VA as well as three new distribution centers.