More change is ahead in the Riverhead grocery store market.
The Best Market supermarket on Route 58 is one of 27 locations in the N.Y. metro area — including all of its 24 Long Island stores — being acquired by Lidl US, the U.S. division of the Germany-based Lidl, a deep-discount grocer.
Lidl and Best Market announced the deal in a statement Friday.
Stores will be remodeled and rebranded beginning early in 2019, Lidl said.
Lidl, which operates about 10,500 stores in 29 countries, is a discount grocer selling 80 to 90 percent private label brands, much like its Germany-based competitor, Aldi — which also has a location on Route 58.
Lidl established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia in June 2015, and today operates more more than 50 stores across seven east coast states.
The Best Market deal allows Lidl to expand its regional presence and enter a new market in Long Island, the company said in the press release.
“Best Market has played an enormously positive role in the area, and we look forward to working closely with Best Market employees to build on that success,” Lidl US CEO Johannes Fieber said.
“We are excited to expand into many great communities on Long Island and across the New York City area and introduce more customers to our simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, which will mean high quality and huge savings for more shoppers,” Fieber said.
Lidl plans a step-by-step transition process that will begin next year and will involve the remodeling, reinvestment and reflagging of Best Market stores to converted Lidl stores, the company said.
All Best Market employees in New Jersey and New York will have guaranteed employment opportunities with Lidl following the transition. Team members will be welcomed into positions with Lidl that offer wages and benefits that are equal to or better than what they earn with Best Market.
The terms of the acquisition agreement were not disclosed.
“Partnering with Lidl on this deal offers our employees a secure future with a growing grocer and continues the great tradition we started more than 20 years ago,” said Aviv Raitses, co-owner of Best Market.
Last month, ShopRite opened in the Route 58 location occupied by Waldbaum’s until that supermarket’s parent company went bankrupt in 2015. A month after Waldbaum’s closed, King Kullen announced it would not renew its lease on its Route 58, Riverhead location. A Gala Fresh supermarket quickly opened in the former King Kullen location. Aldi, meanwhile just completed an expansion and renovation of its Route 58 location. The discount grocer had a “grand re-opening” on Nov. 1.
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