Economy

Low-cost grocery chain Aldi plans more US stores

Aldi's stores are smaller than traditional supermarkets; shoppers walk up and down about five aisles in a 12,000-square-foot space. Aldi expects to have 2,500 US stores by the end of 2022.

Aldi's latest announcement builds on its earlier initiative in which the company said it would invest $1.6 billion in renovations for 1,300 stores.

Its first USA stores open in Virginia and the Carolinas on Thursday. Aldi entered the Tampa Bay market in 2008 and now operates 17 stores here, and a total of 107 so far in central and southern Florida. Aldi, short for "Albrecht Discount", is owned by the Albrecht family of Germany.

Jim Guilfoil of San Clemente shops for fresh vegetables at the Valdivia Farms stand at the North Beach midweek farmers market on Wednesday, April 12.

Aldi's us operation is based in suburban Chicago and has its local headquarters in Moreno Valley.

Retailer Aldi will invest $3.4 billion in continuing to grow its American operation, as it aims to reach 2,500 USA stores by the end of 2022.

Aldi's investment will be in addition to the $1.6bn funding it set aside for refurbishing 1,300 stores by 2020. "During the 1990s, we started branching out, opening stores across Europe - in fact, we've grown to more than 10,000 stores worldwide", according to its About Us page, which promises "high quality at low prices".

Speaking of competition, Wal-Mart - the largest fish in the retail pond - is already firing back in the grocery war, spending $6 billion and testing lower prices in 11 USA states. Aldi also plans to add in-house brands and price product at 21% lower than competitors. "It should absolutely be more than scary to traditional grocers and retailers", said Mikey Vu, a Bain partner.

In May, Lidl said it would price products up to 50 percent lower than rivals.

Lidl reportedly plans to open 200 stores in the coming years. Analysts have estimated that it could roll out as many as 600 US locations over the next five years.

Experts point out it's no coincidence Aldi unveiled its expansion plan days before another German discounter, Lidl, is set to open its first ten us stores on the East Coast as part of a multiyear expansion.

Kroger and Albertsons, which owns Safeway, are No. 1 and 2 respectively.

ALDI has continued to evolve its selection of products to include more fresh foods, gluten-free options and award-winning products throughout the store and said it also continues to increase its offering of fresh and sustainable seafood, specialty wines and cheeses, organic items from its SimplyNature line and Little Journey baby products.



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