Thursday, June 20, 2019

Norman Schmelz, mayor of Bergenfield. (Credit: Courtesy of Norman Schmelz)

On November 19, the Bergenfield planning board unanimously approved the plan submitted by Lidl, a German-based supermarket chain with over 10,500 stores in 29 countries, for the former ACME and Pathmark property on New Bridge Road in Bergenfield. The purchase had closed on October 1. Lidl recently opened New Jersey stores in Eatontown, Union and Hazlet.

Mayor Norman Schmelz said that Lidl first approached him several months ago and he indicated he was very happy that a supermarket would be going back to that location. “Purchasers come to the planning board to make sure the area is zoned properly or to understand what variances would be needed. Any purchaser wants to understand how to fit into the community, and if the community will bring them in with open arms.” the mayor told The Jewish Link. “We made clear we were happy they were looking at the supermarket and we were going to assure them that they had a smooth, fair process.” Schmelz said that Lidl stipulated that they did not need the whole 60,000-square-foot building and would be looking for one additional tenant.

On the Lidl website, https://www.lidl.com/about-us, the company emphasizes a commitment to high quality and low prices in their stores, achieved largely by stocking products made with their own label to maintain direct oversight.

Asked whether they plan to offer products for the area’s large number of kosher consumers, Chandler Ebeier, a company spokesperson, wrote that it is too early in the process to give specifics. She added that Lidl currently offers a number of kosher products and she will provide more details in the future.

Some improvements are planned for the property, Schmelz said. Lidl will make the property more accessible for handicapped consumers to achieve ADA compliance, and will give the store a “face lift” to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

A timeline for construction and opening has not been established.

By Bracha Schwartz