Lidl grocery stores are now open in Kinston, Greenville and Wilson and plans are still on track for the German discount grocer to open a new store along Wayne Memorial Drive.

Since its June launch into the United States market, Lidl has opened 21 stores in three states, including nine in North Carolina and is preparing to open its 10th North Carolina location in Thomasville on Aug. 24, said Will Harwood, Lidl U.S. spokesman.

"We haven't set any time for Goldsboro," Harwood said. "These announcements will come as we set some timelines, and we'll have more information coming over the next several months. It varies by location and by the process."

The company is already preparing to open a flurry of stores by the summer of 2018.

The grocery chain first set its sights on Goldsboro in early 2016 and within months was approved to build a 36,000-square-foot store, on a 5.5-acre vacant lot, at 2115 Wayne Memorial Drive.

After the site was approved, company officials started working through the permitting process with the city inspections department. Recently, the company provided an updated landscaping plan to the city planning department and asked for information about the placement of Lidl store signs, said James Rowe, Goldsboro planning director.

"They're still planning to move forward," Rowe said. "I'm not sure when. They continue to give us what we need, so, in my mind, they're going to continue to do that project."

Lidl's building permit was approved on Aug. 3, which would have allowed the start of construction, but company representatives have more recently asked that a revised building plan be reviewed for approval, said Cindy Motsko, city plan examiner.

Lidl operates 10,000 stores in 26 countries.