Triangle grocery wars continue as Apex gets first store from chain known for low prices

·2 min read

Apex’s first Lidl grocery store is set to open next week, the 10th location for the Germany-based grocery chain in central North Carolina.

The new store, at 670 Grand Central Station, opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, after a brief ribbon-cutting.

The store will offer some grand opening specials on Wednesday, such as gift cards ranging from $5 to $10 for the first 100 customers, and a drawing for a $500 gift card.

The Apex Lidl store hours will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Lidl most recently opened a new store in Cary at 2741 N.C. 55 in the High House Crossing shopping center. Lidl also has stores in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Sanford, Rocky Mount, Fayetteville and Wilson, as well as in the western part of the state, but has yet to venture into Durham or Chapel Hill.

Lidl stores offer an in-house bakery.
Lidl stores offer an in-house bakery.

Lidl and ALDI

Lidl is similar in concept to ALDI, another German grocery chain, which has 13 stores in the Triangle. Lidl and ALDI stores are smaller than most U.S. chain grocery stores, such as Harris Teeter, Publix, Food Lion and Wegmans, and they sell a large selection of private-label goods.

Lidl stores also have an in-house bakery, and sell fresh flowers and European specialty items.

A 2020 study of grocery prices in the Long Island, NY, area, conducted by a professor at UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School, found that Lidl had prices on par with ALDI, Costco and Walmart, and that Lidl had prices 45% lower than Trader Joe’s, 18.5% lower than Target and 10% lower than BJ’s Wholesale Club.

The study also found that Lidl’s entry into the Long Island grocery market prompted other grocery retailers to decrease their prices “considerably,” compared to prices before Lidl opened there. A similar study conducted in 2018 showed that the presence of Lidl stores had the same effect on grocery prices across the U.S.

Fresh flowers in a Lidl store.
Fresh flowers in a Lidl store.

The N&O’s grocery price survey

In a News & Observer survey of grocery prices in the Raleigh area, conducted in October 2019, Lidl was among the lowest-priced stores in the Triangle, on par with supersized Walmart and with ALDI.

Another feather for Lidl’s cap: Food & Wine magazine ranked Lidl No. 6 in their 2020 Top 10 list of Best Supermarkets in America, ahead of Trader Joe’s (8) and Publix (9), but behind Wegmans (2).

Apex Mayor Jacques K. Gilbert said in a press release, “I’m ecstatic about Lidl US opening their doors to our community.”

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