27 New York City area Best Markets will be converted into Lidls, starting next year.

Credit: Courtesy of Lidl

Over the past few years, it’s been no secret that the German-based discount grocery chain Lidl has been looking to expand its presence in America: Last year, Lidl, who was just breaking into the U.S. market, promised to open 100 stores along the East Coast in 2018. But as is often the case when running a massive business, that progress has been a bit slower than anticipated: Lidl now operates 59 stores across seven states—no small task. But apparently, the German chain has come up with a new way to greatly ramp up its visibility: buying stores from someone else.

Lidl is acquiring 27 new locations in New York and New Jersey from the Bethpage, New York-based grocery chain Best Market, according to Supermarket News. Once the stores are converted, which is expected to happen next year, the move will give Lidl a solid presence in an important region—Long Island, New York—where 24 of the newly purchased locations are operated (there's also an outpost in Queens, and one in Harlem).

“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 in a statement. “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.” Lidl said all current Best Market employees will have the opportunity to continue working at the acquired stores.

Despite the slower than promised growth, Lidl has still been building a name for itself in the States. The brand has won awards for its beer selection and its wines, and we named it one of the 10 Best Supermarkets in the U.S.