DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Lidl to make U.S. debut June 15—with low, low prices

BY Marianne Wilson

German discount grocer Lidl is set to shake up the competition with prices that promise to turn up the heat on its U.S. competitors, who are already engaged in a price war.

Lidl on Wednesday revealed the locations of the first 20 stores it will open this summer in the United States, starting on June 15. (See end of story for listing). The stores — in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — are the first of up to 100 locations the grocer plans to open across the East Coast by next summer.

Lidl, which operates 10,000 stores in 27 countries, is known for its low prices. The company said Wednesday shoppers can expect grocery prices that are up to 50% less than other supermarkets in the United States. (Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores, the company said.)

The Lidl stores opening this summer are all newly constructed freestanding facilities that Lidl owns and developed. Each will have a footprint of 20,000 sq. ft. and feature only six aisles. About 90% of the high quality groceries available at Lidl will be exclusive brand products.

The merchandise mix will include standard grocery items, along with an on-site bakery, cheeses, fresh and frozen seafood, wines, organic foods and gluten-free options. Stores will also feature a selection of non-food products that will be in stores for a limited time. The selection will include fitness gear, small kitchen appliances, toys, and outdoor furniture and other non-food items.

In the United States, Lidl will find itself head to head with another German low-price grocer, Aldi. In February, Aldi announced an aggressive $1.6 billion investment in its stores, with plans to remodel and expand more than 1,300 of its locations by 2020. http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/supermarket-chain-investing-1-billion-store-remodels

"We are excited to open our first stores in the United States in a few short weeks," said Brendan Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl US. "Lidl is grocery shopping refreshed, retooled and rethought to make life better for all our customers. When customers shop at Lidl, they will experience less complexity, lower prices, better choices, and greater confidence."

Lidl established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia in June 2015. Since then, it has announced regional headquarters and distribution centers in Spotsylvania County, Virginia; Alamance County, North Carolina and Cecil County, Maryland.

Below is a list of the 20 stores that will open in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina during the summer of 2017:

City, State Address
Kinston, N.C. 4050 W Vernon Ave
Greenville, N.C. 1800 East Fire Tower Rd
Wilson, N.C. 3520 Raleigh Rd Parkway West
Sanford, N.C. 3209 NC 87 South
Rocky Mount, N.C. 940 N Wesleyan Blvd
Winston-Salem, N.C. 3315 Sides Branch Rd
Havelock, N.C. 547 US Hwy 70 West
Rockingham, N.C. 705 US 74 Business East
Wake Forest, N.C. 1120 South Main St
Spartanburg, S.C. 8180 Warren H Abernathy Hwy

Greenville, S.C.

2037 Wade Hampton Boulevard
Virginia Beach, Va. 6196 Providence Rd
Hampton, Va. 2000 W Mercury Blvd

Culpeper, Va.

15169 Brandy Road

Chesapeake, Va. 4033 Portsmouth Blvd
Norfolk, Va. 6440 N Military Hwy
Newport News, Va. 11076 Warwick Blvd
Richmond, Va. 12151 W. Broad St
North Chesterfield, Va.


Richmond, Va.
1311 Mall Drive


5110 S Laburnum Ave
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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Chicago to be home to world’s first…

BY Marianne Wilson

Nutella is setting up shop on Michigan Avenue.

Ferrero, the makers of the popular hazelnut spread, will open their first owned and operated restaurant, Nutella Café, on May 31. The two-level café is located one block from Millennium Park.

"We wanted to create a world of Nutella for our fans that could truly capture the essence of the brand – not just in the dishes that will be served, but in the full experience from the moment you step into the space." said Noah Szporn, head of marketing Nutella North America. "The Nutella Cafe offers something for everybody, and we encourage everyone to come in and try a dish or snack.”

Many folks prefer to eat Nutella straight out of the jar. But the menu at the new café incorporates the spread into a variety of different dishes, both savory and sweet. There are also a number of dishes available without the hazelnut spread.

As for the design of the restaurant, the Chicago Tribunedescribed it as like “walking into a jar of Nutella itself. The warm, creamy white color of the walls is complemented by the dripping Nutella-colored embellishments on the ceiling, accented by hanging lights in the shape of flowers of the hazelnut plant.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Graduation spending to hit record high

BY Marianne Wilson

Some good news for retailers: Consumers plan to spend more than ever on graduation gifts this year as they stuff greeting cards with gift cards and cash.

That’s according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. With more consumers buying for graduates this year – 36% compared with 34% in 2016 – total spending is expected to reach $5.6 billion. That’s the highest number in the survey’s 11-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $5.4 billion.

Cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 53% of those surveyed as they seek to help students with the costly transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” However, cash gifting is at a survey low in 2017, dropping about 10% from highs recorded in 2007 and 2009. Greeting cards follow at 41%, gift cards at 33%, apparel at 16% and electronics at 11%.

“This graduation season we are seeing more young millennials giving gifts to their peers,” Prosper principal analyst Pam Goodfellow said, noting that 48% plan to do so, up from 42% last year. “While greeting cards are most likely to be exchanged among 18-24-year-old, gift cards, cash, and apparel are other popular options. In fact, this group is nearly twice as likely to gift clothing than the overall average.”

While ages 18-24 are the most likely to give a gift to graduates (at 48%), they maintain the smallest budgets at $78.42. The biggest spending is likely to come among parent-age 45-54-year-olds at $119.84 as well as those in the grandparent bracket of 65+, who plan to spend an average $112.34.

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