Europe’s largest discount grocery retailer is officially open for business in the US, two years after establishing its US headquarters and months ahead of its stated goal, as of last year, to commence with the openings in early 2018. In keeping with the theme of “under-promise and over-deliver,” with its public pronouncements, the first wave of openings will consist of at least one more opening than the 20 the company announced in May.

Lidl kicked off the summer on June 15 with its first eight openings, followed by openings on July 14 and 20. Finally, on Thursday, July 27, the company jumps into the hypercompetitive Richmond, VA market with its first four area stores.  The Lidl openings come less than two weeks after Publix opened its first Virginia store in the area. Publix’s second Richmond store, a Martin’s conversion, will open on July 29.

Additional yet-to-be-announced Lidl openings may also be in store. Local reports note that the buildout is almost complete and hiring has wrapped up at the Danville, VA location, while a Newport News, VA store had been originally slated to be among the initial 20 openings.

In next month’s Exclusive, we’ll pass along a Chain Store Guide proximity report for one of the new Lidl locations to provide some insight into the company’s real estate decisions. In addition, the CSG research team is currently collecting data on the remaining 100+ locations Lidl has promised by the end of 2018, a report we’ll make available to clients and customers later this summer.