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German grocer Lidl opening first Maryland store in Bowie

German grocer Lidl will open its first Maryland store next month in Bowie.

Lidl, which touts low prices, easy-to-shop stores with just six aisles and a curated selection of mostly private-label products, began opening stores in the United States last summer in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina as part of a rapid East Coast expansion.

The chain opened a U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., in 2015 and built a regional headquarters and distribution facility in Cecil County.

The first store in Maryland will open Sept. 12 at 13401 Annapolis Road in Bowie. Another store will open later that month in Dumfries, Va. They will be Lidl’s seventh and eighth stores in the Washington metro area, where the company employs more than 1,000 people.

A spokesman for the grocer said Wednesday that a number of sites are in development in Maryland but declined to offer additional details.

“We are looking forward to opening our first store in Maryland and building out our store network in the state,” said Chandler Ebeier, the spokesman.

Among its offerings, the chain touts organic and gluten-free fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and packaged food items, breads and pastries baked on site, and a changing assortment of non-food products such as fitness gear, small kitchen appliances, toys and outdoor furniture.

The grocer operates about 10,500 stores in 28 countries, including more than 50 stores across six East Coast states.

Lidl’s U.S. stores tend to be smaller and sell far fewer items in a given category than traditional supermarkets. Footprints are typically about 36,000 square feet, with about 20,000 square feet of selling space. About 90 percent of the products are private label.

Experts have said Lidl is tapping into trends such as smaller format grocery stores, fading loyalty to brand names and growing demand — especially among millennials — for sustainable and organic food.

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