German grocer Lidl accelerated the opening of its Cecil County distribution center and regional headquarters to meet “surging” demand for food and household products during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company announced.
The 700,000 square-foot facility located along Route 40 in Perryville opened Monday, said Chandler Ebeier, a spokesperson for the company’s U.S. branch, and currently employs more than 150 people, but there are plans to hire over 200 workers as it ramps up.
“We pulled the grand opening of our fully-built Cecil County distribution center up by several weeks to further support our stores during this public health emergency, and it officially opened on Monday morning of this week,” Ebeier wrote in an email.
The distribution center services stores in five states: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
Johannes Fieber, the CEO of the company’s U.S. operation, thanked Gov. Larry Hogan for supporting the project, in which Lidl invested more than $100 million.
“The facility will allow us to efficiently deliver our award-winning products to thousands of customers from Maryland to New York and support our expansion across the region,” Fieber said in a statement.
Hogan, in the statement, thanked Lidl for stepping in to address a high demand for food in the state and lauded the company’s health insurance offerings.
Lidl U.S. offers employees enrolled in company health insurance plans benefits covering testing and treatment of COVID-19 and provides benefits to full- and part-time employees regardless of the number of hours worked, according to a news release.
The company’s American branch is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Lidl sells products in over 95 stores across nine east coast states, the release states, and runs 11,000 stores globally, employing 287,000 people in total.