by Justin Vick & Kayla Berenson
CHARLOTTE – Lured by the potential of winning gift cards ranging from $5 to $100, shoppers began lining up outside of the new Lidl as early as 11:20 p.m. the night prior to the grocery store’s Dec. 4 opening.
Once the doors opened around 8 a.m., the aisles were packed with people. Some were loading up shopping carts. Others carried reusable shopping bags. Many were carefully studying the prices.
Latoya Thomas, of Mint Hill, left Lidl with some muffins after realizing there was a buy one, get the second half off deal. She attended the grand opening to compare prices to other stores in the area, such as Aldi and Food Lion.
“This store is bringing in more jobs to the community, as well as what we call the Lidl effect,” said Desmond Anyanwu of LIDL US Operations LLC. “Not only we’ll be saving you money by shopping at Lidl, it will also be driving prices down in the area.”
Charlotte City Councilman Tariq Bokhari was on hand to welcome Lidl to Charlotte. He helped cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the store’s grand opening.
“I have never been in one of the stores before but I just walked in,” Bokhari said. “You’re in for a treat if you haven’t. The first thing you’ll notice is an amazing smell coming out of that bakery.”
Bokhari said shoppers will also notice how unique it is once they walk around inside.
“It’s very compact,” he said. “They really choose with great specificity what they put inside their stores, so the experience for you is one of a kind and uses your time wisely. The pricing is pretty impressive, too.”
Will Harwood, communications director for Lidl, said stores are designed to provide customers a fast and simple shopping experience in which they also save a lot of money.
Lidl also touts fresh fruits and vegetables, organic and gluten-free products, European specialty items and an ever-changing selection of food and non-food specials.