European grocer to establish regional HQ in Alamance Co.

Lidl, a European grocery chain, plans to open a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Alamance County and create 200 jobs over the next three years.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office announced Wednesday that the company plans to invest more than $125 million in Graham, about 55 miles northwest of Raleigh.

Lidl’s German parent company, the Schwarz Group, is preparing to enter the U.S. market, with a target date of 2018. Lidl operates nearly 10,000 stores in 26 countries throughout Europe.

“North Carolina provides a talented workforce, a strategic location and market opportunities which presents an incredible opportunity as Lidl prepares its expansion in the United States,” Brendan Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl US, said in a statement.

Lidl plans to create 80 new full-time jobs and 120 hourly positions in Graham. The average annual wage for the new jobs will be $80,000. The Alamance County average is $36,019.

Lidl is eligible to receive a $250,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund if it meets hiring and investment goals. The grant requires a local match.

Lidl’s stores are expected to compete with other discount chains in the U.S., including Aldi, Save-A-Lot, dollar stores and Wal-Mart.

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