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Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Low-cost grocery chain Aldi plans more US stores

Low-cost grocery chain Aldi plans more US stores

On June 15, another German discount grocer, Lidl, will make its USA debut, opening the first of 20 stores it plans to open this summer in Virginia, North Carolina and SC. "There's a tremendous amount of value at stake that will shift to Lidl and Aldi..."

In a bold move, Aldi has product arrive at store locations in boxes that have one side missing, so that they can be put onto a shelf without having to be unpacked, thus saving the company the money of having to pay someone to stock shelves.

The German firm already has 1,600 American stores but plans to expand this to 2,500 - which would make it the third-largest U.S. retailer.

Aldi said the $3.4 billion investment in store openings in the USA over the next five years would take its total store number in North America to around 2,500, making it the third largest grocery store in the U.S., serving 100 million customers per month. Aldi UK announced on Monday that it will invest £300 million ($389 million, 346 million euros) to revamp its stores over the next three years. "Traditional grocers can't afford to lose sales right now given how competitive it is - it will be very disruptive", he said of the brands' expansion efforts.

Aldi has 30 stores in the Washington region. It plans to open the first 10 United States stores on Thursday across the Carolinas and Virginia, with an additional 10 openings planned for summer in the same region, creating an estimated 4,000-plus jobs.

Fast-growing German grocer Aldi has its sights set on becoming the third largest supermarket in the US.

Analysts have estimated that Lidl could roll out as many as 600 USA locations over the next five years. Only Kroger and Albertsons Cos., which also owns Safeway, would have more.

The grocery company operates 1,600 stores in the country and earlier this year said it would add another 400 by the end of 2018 and spend £1.3 billion to remodel 1,300 of them.

Aldi added more to its produce department and increased its gluten-free and organic offerings the past few years trying to appeal to shoppers who are more mainstream. "The changes call for expanded produce, meat, dairy and bakery sections as the company puts 'a focus on fresh items, ' a release [dated February 8 from Aldi's U.S. headquarters in Batavia, Ill.] stated".

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