Lidl is opening its 100th U.S. location in Suwanee on May 27.
This is the second location the German grocery chain has opened in Gwinnett County this month. In early May, a location opened in Peachtree Corners.
There will be no grand opening celebration or ribbon cutting because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said in a press release. The Centers for Disease Control discourages the gathering of more than 10 people, as large groups could make it easier for the virus to spread.
The store is taking precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus while allowing guests to shop for essential products. The store has an “enhanced” daily cleaning and sanitation regimen and a weekly sanitation process performed by an outside company, the company said. Only five customers per 1,000 square feet are allowed in the store, and an employee is charged with managing customer flow and any line that may form. Shopping carts will be disinfected after each use and signage around the store, including on floors, will direct customers to perform social distancing — staying at least six feet apart from other people unless they live together.
Protective barriers will be in place at checkout counters to protect cashiers and customers. The store also encourages contactless payment, which most often takes the form of a customer swiping or inserting their own credit card instead of using cash for a transaction. All employees will wear masks and gloves, which the company provides.
For people at the highest risk of contracting coronavirus — people aged 65 and older and those considered immunocompromised —there are designated shopping hours. These people can shop from 7 to 8 a.m. Immunocompromised employees and employees over age 65 are also eligible for paid administrative leave, the company said in a release.
Lidl has committed to providing up to 14 days paid leave for any employees who test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. All of the company’s employees, including part-time workers, are eligible for health insurance.
“We are grateful for Lidl’s expanding investment in Georgia, and more than ever, we appreciate how important it is for Georgians to have access to high-quality food at an affordable price,” said Gov. Brian Kemp in a press release. “We also appreciate the commitment of this store and so many others to maintain proper health guidelines so they can operate safely, keep people employed, and meet critical needs during COVID-19.”
The new Suwanee location will be Lidl’s sixth in Georgia and third in Gwinnett. The company also has stores in Marietta and Mableton, and is building a distribution center in Covington which is expected to employ 270 people. More than 200 people work for Lidl stores in Georgia, according to a company release.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.