German global grocer targets Millsboro in U.S. expansion plans


MILLSBORO – The town of Millsboro is included in American expansion plans of a German global discount supermarket chain.

Millsboro town council Monday night approved with minor stipulation preliminary site plans from Lidl US Operations, LLC for one of Lidl’s new supermarkets in the United States.

Town council’s approval followed a brief presentation on preliminary plans by David Kuklish of Rehoboth Beach-based Bohler Engineering.

“We’re excited. We’re glad you picked Millsboro,” said Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood.

“This has been one of council’s ‘Big Three’ on their wish list,” said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson. “At town hall, there is not a week that goes by that I don’t get the question: ‘Are you calling grocery stores?’ I think I speak for council when I say we are excited about this project.”

According to site plans, the 35,9620-square foot store will be accessed off DuPont Boulevard, Mitchell Street and M & T Bank Boulevard, a private access road that will require written agreement.

Plans call for 180 parking spaces, six of which will be handicap accessible with ADA compliance, along with a bike rack and cart corral.

Mr. Kuklish said plans are to relocate the right-in/right-out access on Dupont Boulevard (U.S. 113) further away from the signalized intersection.

Lidl was born in 1973 in Ludwigshafen near Frankfurt with three employees and about 500 products. Today, it operates more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries.

Expansion outside of Germany began in the 1990s throughout Europe.

U.S. expansion began this year with stores in several states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and one in Middletown, DE., which is expected to open soon, Mr. Kuklish said.

The Lidl website states the company anticipates U.S. expansion will create 5,000 jobs.

Lidl, the chief competitor of German discount chain Aldi, offers more than food, including small appliances, stylish family gear, power tools, home décor, gardening supplies and more, according to the company website.

Approximately 90 percent of store stock is Lidl’s own private label.

In efforts to reduce overhead cost, the company employs a “bring your own bag” policy.

Millsboro Public Works Director Kenny Niblett Jr. and the AECOM engineering firm previously reviewed preliminary site plans prepared by Bohler Engineering.

At the recommended insistence of councilman Tim Hodges, council’s approval stipulated company plans would include sidewalks along the private road to accommodate anticipate foot traffic from the nearby Millwood development.

“I think it would be wise for the client to have sidewalks,” said Mr. Hodges.

These development plans follow town council’s recent approval of Lewes Dairy’s plans to move its distribution operations from Lewes to Millsboro.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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