4 Best Markets will close early next year for renovation by Lidl

October 15, 2019

By Tory N. Parrish | Newsday

Four more Best Market supermarkets on Long Island will be remodeled and converted to the Lidl name next year, Lidl said Tuesday.

That will bring the total number of Long Island stores slated to bear the name of the discount grocer to eight in 2020.

The stores named in the renovation plan Tuesday — locations in East Meadow, Oakdale, Patchogue and Lake Grove — will close in early 2020 for the remodeling projects and reopen by early summer, Lidl US said.

“People can expect to see all new equipment, again, high-efficiency refrigeration … incredible bakery, fresh produce, fresh meat,” when the stores reopen, Lidl spokesman Will Harwood said.

Lidl US, the Arlington, Virginia-headquartered division of Germany-based Lidl, bought 27 stores, including all 24 on Long Island, from Bethpage-based Best Market in January for an undisclosed price. 

The other three Best Market stores Lidl bought are in Harlem in Manhattan, Astoria, Queens and Holmdel, New Jersey.

Lidl closed the Best Market in Hicksville in September.

In April, it announced that its first four Lidl stores on Long Island would open by early 2020 — two Best Market stores in Plainview and Center Moriches that are being remodeled and converted to the Lidl name, and two new Lidl stores opening in West Babylon and Huntington Station.

It will take about two years to convert all the Best Market stores to Lidl, Harwood said.

Lidl is a discount grocer that operates limited-assortment stores, which are smaller and carry fewer products than traditional supermarkets. Limited-assortment stores also carry a high percentage of their own private-label brands.

About 80 percent to 90 percent of Lidl’s products are private label, Harwood said.

While Best Market supermarkets have full-service delis and meat and seafood departments, Lidl stores do not. 

“But it will be a fast and convenient shopping experience for people.  It will save them time and money,” Harwood said.

Long Island is becoming more of a land of opportunity for discount retailers like Lidl, said retail expert Burt Flickinger III, who founded the Manhattan-based consulting firm Strategic Resource Group and has studied Long Island retail.

“The reason Aldi, Lidl and BJ’s [Wholesale Club] are expanding so aggressively is because Long Island has high levels of income but disproportionately lower levels of disposable income because of the inordinately high levels of state and local taxes,” he said.

Aldi, a limited-assortment, discount grocer with six stores on Long Island, in Suffolk County, is planning to open two more local stores by spring — one in North Babylon and one that would be Aldi’s first Nassau County store, at Green Acres Commons in Valley Stream.

BJ’s Wholesale Club, which has 11 stores on Long Island, plans to open a new location in a Commack shopping center, whose owner has applied for Smithtown approval to demolish a Macy’s department store and replace it with a new building for BJ’s.

Employees at the Best Market stores closing for remodeling will be transferred to other locations during the projects, Harwood said.

In April, about 2,500 people were working at Best Market stores in New York and New Jersey, Lidl said. 

Harwood declined to say how many Best Market employees there are now.

Lidl operates 10,800 stores in 32 countries.

The company operates 73 stores under its name on the U.S. East Coast, excluding the Best Market stores.