After only a three-year run, the Havelock Lidl will close on Sept. 6.
According to Will Harwood, director of communications for Lidl US, the closing of the Havelock store is part of a plan focused on expansion to higher populated areas.
"It’s a difficult decision. But it is one that is ultimately a strategic decision – it’s all about the prioritization of convenience," he said.
A store in Shelby, N.C. will also close on the same date. On the other side of the coin, Harwood says the company will open 50 new locations over the next 12 to 18 months. Havelock’s store was one of the first 10 stores to open in North Carolina in 2017.
Harwood related that the opening and closing of the stores were part of "a learning process" for Lidl.
Employees will be given the chance to transfer to other stores following the closure. It was not clear what would happen to employees who choose not to relocate. Harwood said there will be a new location in Wilmington that would be an option for employees as well as stores in Morehead City and others in eastern North Carolina.
"That is the commitment we are making to the team. Everyone will have an opportunity if they would like to relocate to another store within our network," Harwood said.
Meagan Needham, a cardiac nurse with CarolinaEast Medical Center says she shops at Lidl when she can. She was unaware the store would be closing.
"I like the prices. It’s definitely unfortunate," she said.
Harwood said after the closing that Lidl planned to evaluate proposals and offers and work closely with Havelock to find a suitable use for the 20,000 square foot building.
According to a release from the Arlington, Va.-based company, Lidl plans to create 2,000 new jobs with the company investing $500 million during the expansion. The new stores will be located in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
Currently, Lidl operates more than 11,000 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing around 287,000 employees globally. The German company first established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Va., in June 2015.