WASHINGTON — Discount grocer Lidl is inching closer to the Beltway, with its first store in Northern Virginia opening in Culpeper Thursday.
Lidl, which will take on rival German-based discount grocer Aldi in the D.C. market, said it is ahead of schedule on plans for opening stores in the D.C. region and elsewhere on the East Coast this summer.
Lidl plans as many as a half dozen locations in the D.C. region initially, with stores in Manassas and Springfield in Virginia among the first to open.
Lidl opened its first U.S. store two weeks ago in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Other openings scheduled for July 13 include stores in Chesapeake, Virginia; Havelock, North Carolina; and Wake Forest, North Carolina.
It is also opening four stores in Richmond on July 27.
Lidl established its North American headquarters in Crystal City in 2015 as a base for its U.S. expansion and has distribution centers in Spotsylvania County, Virginia and Cecil County, Maryland.
The company said it expects to have 100 stores and 4,000 employees across the East Coast within its first year of store openings.
Lidl operates more than 10,000 stores in 28 countries.