With the festive feel of a block party, Lidl opened the doors to its newest store in Lorton for a two hour preview a day before opening for business on Wednesday last week. Located on the grounds of the former Lorton prison in the new Liberty development area, the store anchors a smattering of new businesses: Taco Rock & Tequila Bar, Petite Smiles, Yada, Always Polish’d, and Ledo Pizza. The first store to open in the center, Lidl took advantage of the space to offer bounce houses, face painting, and free hot dogs in the parking lot. Many customers returned early the next morning for the official ribbon cutting and start of grocery sales. By the 8 a.m. opening time, the parking lot was full with the line snaking past the store front and other shops as customers waited to shop and hoped to receive give-away items.
Addressing the crowd before cutting the ribbon, store manager Ron Cole welcomed all to the store. Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck recalled moments, eight years ago, when community members first started looking at the possibilities for the former prison area. With several new housing developments on and close-by the former prison grounds now, Storck expressed gratitude that Lidl had endured the process and difficulties of developing within a historic site and construction during COVID to bring the grocery to the community.
Lidl starts its Lorton presence making a bond with the community and a commitment to help; not just throwing a block party. They have committed a dollar for each download of their app when a person selects Lorton as their home store as a donation to the nearby Lorton Community Action Center food pantry. In addition, they have named the pantry as their local partner. Any food overstock not sold at the store, but still within recommended use dates, will be donated to the pantry.
Lidl, the German grocery store company with the name that’s puzzling to pronounce, is a quickly growing chain with headquarters in Arlington. With 150 stores throughout the east coast of the United States opened since 2015, it operates globally with stores in 32 countries. They say that their “suspiciously low prices” not only offer high quality at low prices, but that they bring down prices at other stores, as a result of the competition they provide.
Their layout model includes center aisles of non-food merchandise bargains. Restocking of those items every Wednesday, means one can often find some new bargain you didn’t know you had to have; anything from sweatpants to cast iron cookware, and seasonal items.