RIGA - Long lines formed at Lidl stores in Riga early in the morning before the stores opened at 8 a.m., LETA observed.
At the Lidl store on Sergeja Eizensteina Street, some 20 people were standing in line at already around 7 a.m., but shortly before 8 a.m., about 100 people were standing in line.
A similar situation was observed at the Lidl store on Anninmuizas Boulevard - people started gathering at the store before 7 p.m., and the line grew to over 100 people by 8 a.m.
Likewise, some 100 people were waiting in line at Lidl store on Dzelzavas street, even though that store was to open at around 8.30 a.m. At the Lidl store on Augusta Deglava Street, there were 50 people waiting in line shortly before 9 a.m.
Barriers were set up by Lidl employees to manage the lines. Most people in the lines had face masks and tried to observe two-meter distance. Most of the people in the lines were senior residents.
The official opening ceremony took place at Lidl store on Sergeja Eizensteina Street in Riga. German Ambassador to Latvia Christian Heldt, Welfare Minister Gatis Eglitis (New Conservative Party), Riga Vice-Mayor Vilnis Kirsis (New Unity) and Lidl Latvija CEO Jakob Josefsson participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"We are often approached by our Latvian counterparts who would like to see more German investment in Latvia. And here we are - Lidl - one of the largest food retailers in the world, is opening its stores in Latvia. Some of the people most impatient for the opening of Lidl in Latvia can probably be found in the German Embassy. So don't be surprised if you meet us here on a regular basis," Heldt said during the ceremony.
"We in Latvia were waiting very, very eagerly for Lidl to open. As a welfare minister I have a double joy: first, the competition in retail will increase rapidly, giving an opportunity especially to people with limited income to purchase daily products at friendlier prices. Second, over 2,000 stable and well paid jobs are created in all regions of Latvia and in Riga," said Eglitis.
"For Lidl this is the start of a new relationship with our Latvian customers who were patiently waiting for us. The moment has finally come and today we are opening the first 15 Lidl stores in Latvia! Globally Lidl is known for easy shopping and high-quality products for the best price, and we are very glad to introduce local customers with the great selection of Lidl brands and also local products that are in our assortment," said Josefsson.
As reported, 15 Lidl stores opened across Latvia this morning.