Columbia residents welcomed a new grocer to the city early Thursday morning. Lidl is a German-based discount grocer, founded in 1973. Since its first store opened in Ludwigshausen, the chain has grown to more than 10,800 stores in 32 countries. The Columbia store is Lidl’s 71st in the US, and 13th in South Carolina. The store is located at 1401 Summit Parkway.
There are a few differentiating factors that separate Lidl from other grocers, according to corporate spokesperson Chandler Ebier. “Our quality of products, variety, and cost,” she said. “The retail food business is cutthroat. We save our customers money by cutting waste and selling private label brands. In fact, 90 percent of what we sell is private label. We have our own cheeses, meats, wine, and beer, just to name a few products.” The wine selection is large and diversified. Argentina, France, Italy, Chile, and Australia are among the countries that supply wine to Lidl.
So far, all American Lidl stores are located east of the Mississippi River. “Right now we are focused on the Atlantic coastal area. California and points out west will come in time but not in the near future,” explained Ebier.
Lidl is the third largest retail food seller in the world, behind Walmart (1) and Kroger (2). The Columbia location is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.