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Get to know Lidl, the European grocery opening 4 local stores in July

Lidl built a test store for its U.S. designs in Fredericksburg. (Courtesy Lidl)

RICHMOND, Va. – Lidl, an Arlington-based, German grocery chain announced the July opening date for its four local stores.

The first Richmond-area stores will open July 27 and are among the first Lidl’s to open in the country as the grocer moves into the American market. Its first U.S. stores opened in June, in Hampton and Virginia Beach.

Two spots will open in Chesterfield and two in Henrico. The locations are: 12151 W. Broad St. in the GreenGate development, 1311 Mall Drive near Chesterfield Towne Center, 11701 Iron Bridge Road and 5110 S. Laburnum Ave.

Each new store will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7:40 a.m., immediately prior to the 8 a.m. grand opening.

There will be special offers to celebrate the grand opening and the first 100 customers to arrive at each location will receive a wooden coin for a chance to win up to $100 in Lidl gift cards.

Lidl, like its European counterpart Aldi that has also moved into the area, focuses on low prices. But the chain, which operates more than 10,000 stores in 28 countries, hopes to distinguish itself from Aldi in the U.S. by creating “a hybrid similar to Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter, but closer to a Trader Joe’s.”

Aldi is actually owned by Germany’s Albrecht family, which owns Trader Joe’s.

It turns out, the company said, that research indicated Americans don’t like “discount groceries,” so the U.S. approach will be different than overseas.

All Lidl stores opening in Richmond will be newly constructed and around 20,000 square feet with only six aisles. They will carry fresh-baked goods and also offer organic and gluten-free products, including organic fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, and packaged food items.

Like Wegmans, though on a larger scale, 90% of Lidl’s groceries will be exclusive brand products. There will be alcohol for sale, like the Prosecco which recently won “sparkling wine of the year.”

The company also offers a distinct “Lidl suprises” selection, which changes weekly and includes non-food products each week. The limited-time selections include stuff like fitness gear, small kitchen appliances, toys, and outdoor furniture.

The stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.