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Aldi, Lidl both coming to Tanglewood

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Friday, November 10, 2017

Elizabeth City shoppers apparently will be getting two new grocery options instead of just one near Tanglewood Pavilions.

In his weekly report to City Council on Thursday, City Manager Rich Olson reported that German-based Aldi is planning to build a roughly 22,000-square-foot store on an out-parcel of the Tanglewood Pavilions shopping complex.

Olson previously had reported a business was coming to the parcel, at the northwestern corner of the intersection of Halstead Boulevard Extended and Mt. Everest Drive, but identified the store for the first time on Thursday after Aldi officials submitted a site plan.

The Aldi store will be located across the street from Lidl’s new grocery store, which city officials previously reported will also be going up near Tanglewood Pavilions. 

Olson reported a firm working for Stockbridge at Tanglewood has submitted a preliminary plat for 15 commercial and one multi-family residential lot on the south side of the Halstead Boulevard Extended-Mt. Everest intersection. Olson said he doesn’t know what is planned for those lots, but said Lidl, also based in Germany, has gotten a site plan approved for a store on the southeastern corner of the intersection, right next to the 7-Eleven convenience store. That would put Aldi and Lidl catty-corner to each other, he said.

Olson said Aldi approached the city about six months ago about opening a store, but he said he's unsure when it would start construction. It may be around March 2018, and, based on the building's size, construction could take about six months, he said.

Olson also said the city has been working closely with Aldi's engineering firm, Eastern Carolina Construction, to properly plan the store. One issue is that Conlon Way, a road that branches off Halstead to take motorists into Tanglewood Pavilions, is too close to where the store would be. To avoid parking issues and requiring Aldi get a variance, he said the road would be shifted northward some.

Asked about other stores coming to Tanglewood Pavilions, which is expanding into a second phase, Olson indicated those discussions remain tentative and confidential.

A spokesman for Aldi did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. However, the company's website describes itself as a “no-frills” grocery experience that provides “Aldi-exclusive brands, hand-selected by Aldi to ensure that our products meet or exceed the national brands on taste, quality and, of course, price.” The website also acknowledges carrying fewer brands of items than larger stores but pledges it provides “all the essentials.”

Lidl, meanwhile, describes itself as offering “carefully curated selections” instead of “myriad of brands in every category.” It also offers mostly “private label” products and works to keep overhead minimal and prices low, its website states.

The website also touts that Lidl offers an often-changing selection of non-food items, such as small appliances, toys, home décor and gardening supplies.

Asked why Aldi and Lidl would open stores so close to each other, Olson said the companies, who have been planning the stores for months, had apparently determined there was enough demand.

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