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Could Lidl still come to Beavercreek? Grocer explains US expansion plans

German grocer Lidl is slowing its an ambitious expansion in the United States, putting a hold in plans to open any stores in Ohio right now.

In mid-2017, the grocery chain was “actively looking at sites” in Ohio and submitted an application to build a store in Beavercreek. The grocery store chain, which first opened stores in the U.S. last year, submitted a land development application to the Beavercreek Planning Commission in October. Lidl asked to the table application request at the planning commission meetings in November and December, and then withdrew the application in February.

» INITIAL REPORT: German grocery retailer Lidl looks to expand in Ohio

A spokeswoman told this news organization the chain is no longer focused on expansion in Ohio right now, and the chain is revising its expansion plans.

“We have not set a timeline for expansion into Ohio. Our operational focus is along the east coast where we are currently opening stores and building our operational presence,” a spokeswoman told this news organization.

The chain has halted construction on some projects around the U.S. In December, it stopped construction on its second New Jersey store due to “budgetary constraints,” according to NJ.com. The News Leader reported that Lidl was backing out of a planned store in Staunton, Va., because the company was no longer interested in building in smaller markets.

» INSIDE LOOK: Take a look at Lidl German grocery store

Some of the expansion plan changes include:

• Future stores will probably be smaller than initially planned, and targeted for urban areas. Total store space has been reduced from 36,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet in the smaller stores, Forbes reported.

• Less stores will open in 2018. A total of 50 stores since the first opening in Virginia on June 15, 2017, Forbes reported. Another 23 stores are expected to open this year, which is less than 100 stores that were initially expected to open.

Before the grocer slowed plans, Lidl was looking for possible new store sites in Texas, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware, according to Lidl’s website. Lidl first opened in 1973, about 25 miles south of Frankfurt, Germany. The chain didn’t start expanding outside of Germany until the 1990s, and now Lidl operates more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries.

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