As more grocers enter the fray, the German invasion of Richmond’s grocery market shows no signs of relenting.
Plans have been filed in Chesterfield County for two more Lidl locations, as well as an additional Aldi, bumping the total number of Richmond-area locations for each of the German grocery chains to seven and 11, respectively.
Aldi has plans for an 18,000-square-foot store at 4001 Lonas Parkway, on wooded land near Chesterfield Crossing, just off Hull Street Road. Josh Walls, director of real estate for Aldi, said the 2.5-acre site is currently under contract.
“We’ve been trying to get a location on Hull Street for a couple years now,” Walls said. “We really like the visibility of this site, the access and the area it’s in.”
The plans were filed Feb. 23, county records show. MS Consultants is the architect on the project, while Kimley-Horn is the civil engineer. Walls said the general contractor position will go out to bid in about three months.
He declined to share how much it costs to build a standard Aldi and did not share a timeline on closing on the land.
Meanwhile, Lidl has filed plans for two 36,000-square-foot locations: one at 6030 Iron Bridge Road near the Cogbill Road intersection, and the other at 600 Charter Colony Parkway. Both are to be located on roughly 5-acre lots.
Lidl spokesman Will Harwood said the company is still in the early stages of its expansion and is not making specific store announcements.
“However, I can tell you we are actively pursuing sites in the region, and throughout Virginia,” Harwood said in an email.
The plans were filed on Feb. 25 for the Charter Colony Parkway location and Feb. 12 for the Iron Bridge Road location.
With these plans, Lidl has now identified four locations in Chesterfield where it plans to construct locations. While many of its chosen sites are near Aldi spots, both of these new sites are at a relative distance from Lidl’s German competitor.
Aldi has opened several stores in the Richmond area since moving into the United States, including locations on Parham Road, Forest Hill Avenue and in Colonial Heights.
The German retailer differentiates itself with a straightforward store design and by reducing prices by carrying many of its own brands. It also employs unconventional features like charging for bags and requiring a 25-cent deposit to rent grocery carts.
As Aldi has increased its number of planned locations, Lidl has hurried to catch up. Aldi’s German competitor, Lidl boasts offerings similar to Aldi and has also spurred its move into the U.S. market, though it has yet to open a store.
Aldi and Lidl’s push to expand their presence in the area comes as even more grocers pile into Richmond. In early February, Florida-based chain Publix announced plans to anchor Nuckols Place Shopping Center, and at a recent Greater Area Commercial Real Estate event, Divaris Real Estate broker Brett McNamee hinted that two more grocers are considering moves into the area.
Meanwhile, Martins’ is scaling back its local presence, announcing in December it will close three of its 23 area locations by this summer.
I’ve never waited in line for the grand opening of anything (movie, retail store, sporting event), I just can’t imagine the reasoning
Lidl’s stores in Europe are akin to uber Trader Joes and very different from Aldi’s. Their emphasis is on prepared ready to eat meals. I look forward to their openings in Chesterfield and Henrico. I wish they’d take a longer look at Manchester.