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German Discounter Lidl Readies US Launch

While it may not be a name with which Americans are familiar, Lidl has more than 10,000 stores and 230,000 employees in 27 countries across Europe. The chain sells groceries but also offers a range of products from tech products and kitchen gadgets to apparel and bedding.

And now the German discount supermarket is actively identifying locations and recruiting employees here for a potential 2017 launch.

“We have landed in America and we are searching for talented, friendly and dynamic people to grow with us,” the site said. “We are one of the top four largest grocery retailers in the world and we are bringing a brand new fresh shopping experience to our American shoppers.”

The chain recently purchased an industrial building in the Port Richmond area, which is speculated to be the site of its first store, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. It already owns a location covering four acres in Arlington, Va., which serves as its headquarters.

The company currently has 75 jobs to fill, with hiring events taking place in the Virginia area.

The chain specializes in a limited selection of off-brand products, pitting it against value retailers like Walmart superstores, Stop & Shop, and Food Lion. One other main competitor is fellow German export, Aldi. That chain operates 1,500 stores in 34 states in the U.S. with plans to open 600 more over the next three years. Planet Retail forecasts Aldi will add another $5 billion of sales by 2020 to the $10 billion it recorded in 2015.

Lidl’s initial plan is to operate up to 150 stores in the eastern U.S.