Two rival European grocery chains choose Short Pump as battleground

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The first shoppers browse the shelves of the Parham Road Aldi at its grand opening in April. Photos by Katie Demeria.

HENRICO, Va. — Two rival European grocery chains have chosen Short Pump as their latest battleground.

Aldi has 2 acres under contract for a store in Atack Properties’ new Broad Hill Centre development, and plans filed with Henrico County show that Lidl is taking space across West Broad Street in Markel | Eagle Partners’ forthcoming GreenGate project.

If both plans come to fruition, only about half a mile will separate the longtime German competitors. Lidl was founded in the 1930s in Germany, and Aldi followed there about 10 years later. Both have recently ramped up their activity in Richmond. GreenGate is Lidl’s fourth planned location in the area, while this is Aldi’s 10th store in the works.

“Every retailer is trying to enter the Richmond market – it’s an exciting market,” said Josh Walls, Aldi’s director of real estate.

But neither grocer had made the move into Short Pump yet, and the pending locations would rise along a stretch of Broad Street that is pushing the popular retail sector’s boundaries to the west.

“We’ve been interested in Short Pump for a while, but that’s a compacted market and it’s hard to find a good retail location,” Walls said. “Now that it’s expanding west, and with Wegman’s entering the market, we were given a great opportunity by Atack.”

Aldi is under contract to purchase 2.27 acres from Atack. The land sits on the highly visible corner of West Broad Street and the planned Bon Secours Parkway, which runs through the 70-acre Broad Hill Centre development. A separate development next door, West Broad Marketplace, has landed a Wegman’s grocery store as one of its anchors.

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