European grocery chain Lidl will open a regional headquarters and distribution center in Cecil County as it plans its first stores in the United States.
Lidl plans to invest $100 million to build an 800,000-square-foot facility at the Principio Business Park in Perryville and hire 100 full-time workers over the next three years. The German discount grocer expects to open its first U.S. stores by 2018.
Lidl operates about 10,000 stores in 27 countries in Europe. Last year, the company announced plans to expand to the U.S. and established U.S. headquarters in Arlington, VA.
"We are excited to announce a new hub of operations for Lidl US in Maryland," Brendan Proctor, President and CEO of Lidl US, said in a statement. "This facility is an important step in building an efficient infrastructure that will allow us to deliver outstanding quality goods to our customers at the lowest possible prices."
In June, Aberdeen City Council approved a site plan for what is expected to be one of Lidl's first U.S. stores.
Lidl on Tuesday would not confirm plan for an Aberdeen store but a spokesman said the grocer is pursuing sites in Maryland and along the East Coast.
Lidl has been approved for a $360,000 conditional loan from Maryland Department of Commerce's Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund.
Cecil County will provide a $20,000 workforce training grant and a $16,000 loan conditional on meeting job creation goals.
The company will also be eligible for tax credits, including Maryland's Job Creation Tax Credit and Enterprise Zones Property Tax Credit.