Lidl will open Wednesday June 9 at the Mall in Columbia. First announced as a new mall tenant in early 2020, Lidl has worked to transform the ground floor of the former Sears space at the Mall in Columbia into their new home.
Lidl (pronounced: lee-duhl) is an international grocery powerhouse with over 10,000 stores across 27 countries, and is in process of a rapid expansion into the United States market, starting with the east coast. Since 2017, over 100 Lidl stores have opened from New York down to Georgia - with an additional fifty locations planned to open by the end of 2021. This will be the first Lidl in Howard County. Lidl has nearby locations in Catonsville, Glen Burnie, Perry Hall, and College Park.
Like fellow German transplant and rival Aldi, Lidl is disrupting the US supermarket business with rock-bottom prices on household grocery staples, fresh produce, and other premium food items. In fact, Lidl seems a near clone of Aldi. Both are similarly sized (about ~20,000 sq feet; half the size of a typical Giant or Whole Foods), have just six aisles of merchandise, primarily sell their own private brand label, and stock only one or two varieties of any given item. Lidl requires customers to bag their own groceries and also sells items out of the same cardboard boxes that they were shipped in instead of unpacking and arranging produce into a perfectly stacked display. In addition to groceries, Lidl has a random aisle in the middle of the store that sells an eclectic assortment of non-food items including seasonal décor, toys, kitchen appliances, and even clothing. One difference is that unlike Aldi, Lidl does not require customers to deposit a quarter into a shopping cart to unlock it.
The Lidl at the Mall in Columbia looks ready to go. Grocery carts are ready outside and peering through the window, one could see the shelves being stocked and registers being set up.