Alamance County will be the home to one of the best-known grocery stores in Europe, bringing an estimated 200 new jobs to the area.

Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina announced on July 1 that European retailer, Lidl, will open a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Alamance County.

According to a press release from the governor's office, the project will create 80 new full-time jobs and 120 hourly positions in the county over the next three years.

Lidl is a German-based discount supermarket chain, with locations throughout Europe. It's part of the Schawarz Group, which is the largest retailer in Europe. Lidl is the chief competitor of other discount supermarket chain, Aldi, which is also based in Germany.

Representative Stephen Ross, who represents eastern and central Alamance County in the General Assembly, said the deal and the potential it provides for the area excite him.

"It really adds something to the economic base of Alamance County to bring in large foreign companies," he said.

Ross specifically mentioned the benefits that the full-time jobs and their average estimated salaries could provide. The current average salary of Alamance County is $36,019 and the reported average salary for the full-time positions that the Lidl project will provide is $80,000.

Because of its position between the Triad and the Triangle and its easy access to I-85 and I-40, Ross said, Alamance County's location makes the area attractive for deals like this one. He said that's why many elected officials have been working to expand business and industry in the county.

"It's beginning to pay off," he said. "Just in a discussion with the governor the other day, he said that Alamance County seems ripe for recruitment and development."

Lidl formally announced it would expand to the U.S. market in June and has established its U.S. corporate headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Stores in the United States are set to open no later than 2018.

According to Ross, the distribution center and regional headquarters will be located between Graham and Haw River, in the same area as the Wal-Mart distribution center. He also said, construction should begin right away and that the goal is to have the center open by the end of the year.


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