Lidl has opened an urban store in Harlem, New York. While most Lidl stores are in suburban areas, this store, on Frederick Douglas Blvd., is in a densely populated area. It is the company’s first store in Manhattan and its 24and in New York State.
The store is on two levels in a high-rise building, with an expanded lower level area. Lidl spent over $5 million developing the store model for this frame, and it’s easy to shop around. Convenience items are on the ground floor while the bulk of grocery items are on the lower level. There is also a general merchandise section on the lower level.
Lidl’s very low price policy continues to amaze. This is all the more important as the merchandise is of high quality and often includes recognized US national brands. Whether it’s Angus beef for 4.49/lb. or four 32 oz. $5 bottles of Coke or $0.99 a pound grapes, low-cost promotions lure customers and business was booming on a recent Wednesday afternoon. Low prices were reinforced by a display of two carts comparing Lidl’s prices with Whole Food’s prices. Lidl’s prices were more than $50 lower than its grocery competitor for the same items. According to the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (UNC), prices for Lidl’s wine assortment were up to 45% lower than other nearby grocers.
While browsing the store, I noticed culinary specialties from various countries, including France and Italy, and of course Germany, Lidl’s homeland. For me, a special section of the store was the bakery; it offers breads, pastries and other baked goods throughout the day. As a result, the store smells like a fresh bakery when you walk in.
The store has been newly upgraded with an easy-to-use layout that will result in a faster and more convenient shopping experience for customers. I was told that the EPA recognizes Lidl stores for their eco-friendly design. The only suggestion I have: that the cashier might have thanked me for shopping at Lidl.
Lidl has partnered with both the New York Food Bank and the Harlem Community Kitchen and Pantry to be a new community support business.
Very talented art students have created unique designs for a limited edition tote bag celebrating the opening. Ella Alburez (13), Marley Ablurez (15), Guadelupe Mejia (14), Aralanna Hoover Lluesma (14) and illustrator AKLovelace (who is a professional comic artist) designed artwork for the bags tote. They are for sale in the store and proceeds will benefit the Food Bank and the Community Kitchen and Pantry in Harlem.
Lidl, a German company belonging to the Schwarz Gruppe, operates more than 11,500 stores worldwide. It is active in 32 countries and employs more than 341,000 people. It opened its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia in June 2015 and opened the first store in the United States in 2017. There are now over 175 stores in the United States.
POST SCRIPTUM : Grocery prices have skyrocketed, and Lidl and Aldi (another German discount operation) are helping to control some prices in their shopping areas. While customers have to pack their purchases, the savings justify the effort. Customers often have to travel to find these stores, but it’s worth the trip in today’s environment.