Aldi ups the ante in U.S. expansion

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BATAVIA, Ill. — Aldi is ramping up its U.S. expansion, with plans to spend $3.4 billion to expand to 2,500 stores by the end of 2022.

Aldi said Monday that the new expansion would make it the third-largest U.S. grocery retailer by store count, vaulting the company past Albertsons Cos. and Ahold Delhaize and putting it behind only Walmart and Kroger Co.

Currently, Aldi operates more than 1,600 U.S. stores. The $3.4 billion capital investment builds on a previously announced $1.6 billion program to remodel 1,300 stores by 2020, the company said.

Aldi chief executive officer Jason Hart noted that his company has been the leader in developing the hard discount format in the United States.

“We pioneered a grocery model built around value, convenience, quality and selection and now Aldi is one of America’s favorite and fastest growing retailers,” Hart said in a statement. “We’re growing at a time when other retailers are struggling. We are giving our customers what they want, which is more organic produce, antibiotic-free meats and fresh healthier options across the store, all at unmatched prices up to 50 percent lower than traditional grocery stores.”

Aldi is not only growing rapidly, but it’s also evolving, according to Hart. The retailer has revamped its merchandise assortment in recent years to include more fresh foods and gluten-free options, as well  and award-winning products throughout the store. Aldi also continues to increase its offering of fresh and sustainable seafood, specialty wines and cheeses, organic items and baby products. Aldi said it was also the first grocery store to offer all of its exclusive products free of certified synthetic colors, added trans fat and added MSG.

“We have passionate fans who know Aldi offers a smarter way to feed their families in a modern, convenient and easy-to-shop environment,” Hart stated.

Aldi’s U.S. expansion announcement came just days before Lidl, a rival German discount grocery operator, is set to hold grand openings at its first nine U.S. stores. The locations are the first of 20 stores that Lidl aims to open this summer in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. By the year’s end, Lidl expects to have about 100 stores along the East Coast.



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