Grocer to open its first stores in state this month

Lidl is scheduled to open its first North Carolina stores on June 15, with the Havelock location expected to open later in the summer.

Will Harwood, a spokesman for the company, said that the grocery chain’s first stores would open in Kinston, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Sanford and Winston-Salem on June 15, with the Havelock store not too far behind.

“As far as Havelock, we have not set an opening date yet,” he said. “We know it will be this summer.”

He said the five North Carolina locations are among nine in the United States that will open on June 15.

“We’re really excited,” he said.

He pointed out that the wait won’t be very long for Havelock residents to get “top quality at the best prices.”

Lidl U.S. Operations LLC of Arlington, Va., purchased 3.9 acres on U.S. 70 from Havelock Joint Properties for $1.4 million on March 3, 2016. The property, at 553 U.S. 70 West, had been the site of the T-R Furniture warehouse near the entrance to W.J. Gurganus Elementary School and across from Wal-Mart.

The warehouse was torn down, and construction on the grocery store building started in the fall. The company hosted a hiring event for managers in February at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center, and later followed with applications for hourly workers.

The parking lot has been paved, and landscaping has been done around the building. On Tuesday, shopping carts were seen outside the building.

Lidl, a large German company with 10,000 stores in 27 countries, offers fresh meats, produce and bakery items as well as household goods, according to a release from the company. The store will also include non-food products on a rotating basis that include fitness gear, small kitchen appliances, toys and outdoor furniture.

The stores in America will offer about 20,000 square feet of space with just six aisles and will include organic and gluten-free options. About 90 percent of the groceries will be exclusive brand products. Store hours are expected to be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.