Best Market is a privately owned fruit and grocery store chain headquartered in Bethpage, NY. It was founded in 1994 by the Raises family. Their 27 stores were acquired this weekend by Lidl, and the new owners will convert all locations to Lidl stores in the coming year.
The 27 stores are located in New York City (2), New Jersey (1), and especially on Long Island (24). It gives Lidl an entry into many great, thriving, communities. Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US, expects to “introduce more customers to Lidl’s simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, which will mean high quality and huge savings for more shoppers”.
Lidl plans a transition process that will begin in 2019 with the remodeling of Best Market stores, converting them to the Lidl concept. All Best Market associates will be welcomed into positions with Lidl and will enjoy benefits that will be equal or better than what they have now.
Lidl now operates 59 units in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Staten Island, New York. That is way below the plans that were announced when the store chain entered the U.S. market in June, 2017. At that time, it was expected that 100 stores would open in the first year. The 27-store acquisition creates a serious presence in the New York area and it adds to the expansion into the United States. Importantly, it confirms again management’s commitment to grow in the US.
Going forward, it is likely that the company will make more acquisitions in smaller markets to develop a meaningful presence on the East Coast of the United States. Opening stores and fighting the big chains, who dropped prices in specific localities to meet the new competition, may be a lot of fun, but is unprofitable for everybody. It is more likely that small markets will be the new target for acquisitions.
Lidl operates about 10,500 stores in 29 countries. The stores focus on high quality fresh produce, meat, bakery items and often feature a wide array of household products as well. Lidl stores also sell award winning wines. It is an innovative retailer.
Citi Bank is serving as a financial advisor to Lidl. PJ Solomon is serving as a financial advisor to Best Market.
Date: November 22, 2018