After a history of drama, Cobb will soon have two Lidl grocery stores

Lidl, a Germany grocery chain, is opening two stores in Cobb County.

Credit: Lidl

Credit: Lidl

Lidl, a Germany grocery chain, is opening two stores in Cobb County.

It wasn't without drama, but Lidl announced Wednesday it will open two grocery stores in Cobb County.

Lidl — rhymes with “needle” — says it has about 10,500 stores in 29 countries. The German grocer highlights its wide selection of wine and beer along with organic and gluten-free items.

The Cobb stores, both of which are scheduled to open before Valentine's Day, will be on Powder Springs Road and on Floyd Road. Gwinnett County will also get a store. This marks the chain's first stores into metro Atlanta.

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A Lidl site on Floyd Road in Mableton was approved by Cobb commissioners in September 2016, with that district's representative, Lisa Cupid, opposing. About 170 resident signed a petition against the Lidl location saying they didn't need another discount store. It appears ground was never broken.

Then, in September 2017, Lidl lost an absolute slugfest with residents near Lassiter High School in East Cobb over a store. After an opposing petition signed by more than 2,200 people, about 200 residents at a community meeting vented about the planned store to their commissioner, JoAnn Birrell.

That proposed location would have overtaken a movie theater that had been in the neighborhood 25 years, and residents worried the new store would create traffic that would endanger nearby students and children.

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The resulting commission meeting was heated, with 49 people in the audience booing or laughing at Lidl’s attorney making the case for the store. He often sniped back.

Cupid voted against the East Cobb store, but not without having her piece about how commissioners approved the store in Mableton against her will the year before: “I’m being asked to provide a level of grace ... that I was not provided.”

She relented. “I don’t do anything for spite.”

The board denied the proposal.

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So, a year and a half later, Cobb is getting two stores.

The 2641 Powder Springs Road store is set to open Jan. 16 and the 4844 Floyd Road location is scheduled to open Feb. 13.

To celebrate the grand openings at each, the first 100 shoppers will get gift cards ranging from $5 to $100, the company said in a news release. There will be free samples of Lidl products and free reusable shopping bags while supplies last.

Its normal hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

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The Cobb County board of commissioners has a count of the room taken to see who is in favor and who is against of a proposed Lidl site plan in Marietta. In all, 49 were opposed and six were in favor.