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Report: Lidl scales back plans for Georgia
Covington council has voted on zoning change for business
Lidl opened its first stores in the U.S. in June 2017. - Contributed photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — Officials with Lidl refused to confirm or deny a report they are scaling back plans for big expansion into Georgia.

Those plans may include a new store in Covington.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Lidl is “dramatically scaling back its initial plans for dozens of new Georgia stores” and could open as few as five stores in metro Atlanta. But spokeswoman Jessica Haggard on Friday said Lidl US still has an eye on the Peach State.

“Georgia is absolutely still a focus for Lidl,” Haggard said. “We received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers in Augusta when we opened there last month and are excited to continue to expand across the state in the coming months.”

The Covington City Council on April 17approved a zoning change to clear the way for a Lidl store on Georgia 142. The council approved the change to corridor mixed-use zoning for 5.5 acres in the 10100 block of what’s also known as John R. Williams Highway, between Tractor Supply Co. and Kaufman Tire.

Haggard said the company is not releasing information on specific sites in Georgia, but said Lidl (pronounced “LEE-dul”) has not changed its original goal of opening up to 100 stores across the East Coast by the end of summer 2018.

Company officials previously said a Covington store would have about 30 employees.

Lidl opened its first U.S. stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia on June 15. That month, the company anounced plans for a regional headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville.

The $100 million facility is expected to create 250 jobs over the next five years.