A Germany-based grocer has accelerated its planned arrival in Richmond.
Lidl announced Thursday it will open its first 20 stores across Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina this summer. The chain previously said it planned to open its U.S. stores in early 2018.
Lidl also unveiled its U.S. store design, which spokesman Will Harwood said is 35 percent larger than Lidl’s biggest European stores.
“It’s a unique store design. It’s a further evolution on the latest store designs we have in Europe,” Harwood said.
The design is being put into action on Staples Mill Road, where Lidl is building one of seven planned Richmond stores at 9101 Hermitage Road. Lidl plans to open as many as 100 stores along the East Coast.
Lidl has begun hiring for 800 employees for its Virginia stores. Harwood said the company doesn’t have an exact number for how many of those jobs will be in Richmond.
Last month, Lidl held a hiring event for store managers and supervisors in Richmond. Harwood said the company anticipates holding similar events for store associate positions soon, and is accepting applications online.
Harwood said no opening dates have been set for local stores.
Meanwhile, fellow German grocer Aldi is set to open its ninth store in the Richmond area next month. Aldi announced Thursday it will open its first Chester location at 11100 Iron Bridge Road on March 16.