Montclair’s Lackawanna Plaza has been without a supermarket since November 2015. That will change when Lidl, a German supermarket chain with over 10 thousand supermarkets in 29 European countries, including 66 stores in the United States, opens in Montclair. The Montclair store would be 29,000 square feet (Lidl has pivoted, moving in a smaller size direction than its previous US stores) and shoppers can expect it to be filled with Lidl’s own brands — 80-90% of Lidl’s products are private label, including its Organic brand. A majority of Lidl’s product are sourced in the US with some imported European products as well; Lidl has won various awards for product quality.
The first Lidl store in NJ to open was Vineland where employees danced on opening day; the closest Lidl store to Montclair is Union, New Jersey. Here’s a look at what we found and noticed visiting Lidl’s store in Union:
Lidl offered a good selection of produce — both regular and organic. A bag of organic rainbow carrots were $1.79 for a 2 lb. bag a bag of six mini avocados (normally $2.99) was on special for $1.49. Driscoll raspberries were on sale for $1.39.
Yes, Lidl also carries brands you know — Kelloggs cereal, Crest toothpaste, Chobani yogurt, Pampers diapers, Betty Crocker cake mixes, Trojan condoms. Finding name brands is like a scavenger hunt — they are sprinkled throughout, you just have to look.
The center of Lidl shifts from typical supermarket staples to the unexpected — think items you might find in Costco. We found aluminum trekking poles ($17.99); USB turntable ($29.99); sous vide machine ($29.99); and a salt lamp ($14.99). There were satin robes, stuffed animals, children’s clothes, toys, books and puzzles, and lots of home decor items, too.
Deals throughout the store have orange signage to get your attention. During our visit, there was a buy one, get one free deal on 100% grassfed ribeye steak and a 7 oz. package of bacon wrapped scallops for $4.99. A duck leg confit and stuffed snails were among the more unusual protein offerings. The freezer section was amply stocked with frozen entrees including Lean Cuisine, breakfast sandwiches from Jimmy Dean and Pillsbury toaster pastries, and an extensive selection of frozen pizzas.
And unlike Aldi, you don’t have to leave a quarter deposit to get a shopping cart. You are encouraged to bring reusable shopping bags, but if you forget, you can purchase a paper bag for 7 cents or a plastic bag for 10 cents. Lidl also offers a My Lidl app with rewards, coupons, grocery lists and recipes.