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Aldi eyes competitors with better food, more locations and added convenience

Aldi, a German-based grocery store, is making several changes that could make it more competitive with other United States supermarkets.

The grocery store announced Thursday that it will increase its product offering by 20 percent, expand its stores by 40 percent and remodel its existing stores.

The first of its plans means shoppers can soon expect more options in stock: preseasoned and organic meats, sliced fruits, more variety in the Aldi vegan and vegetarian line, single-serve snacks, drinks such as kombucha, and additional baked goods. Costumers can expect to see new items by early 2019.

Increasing the number of Aldi stores – the second tier of its three-part plan – is a continuation of a $5.3 billion U.S. expansion that began in 2017, according to CNBC. Aldi, which already has 1,800 locations in 35 states across the nation, is looking to increase that total to 2,500 by the end of 2022. If successful, it could become the third largest U.S. supermarket, behind Walmart and Kroger, respectively. Walmart has nearly 5,300 stores nationwide when its wholesale counterpart, Sam’s Club, is also included. Kroger has 2,800 locations in 35 states across the country.  Aldi, whose corporate office is in Batavia, Illinois, is already considered one of the fastest growing grocery store chains.

The last of Aldi’s announced changes includes upgrades to the layouts of existing stores, which will see more refrigerators to accommodate ready-to-go food items.

In March, Aldi partnered with mobile delivery service Instacart to offer online grocery shopping to residents of the greater Chicago area. The grocery store, which is popular among bargain shoppers, has more than a dozen locations in Chicago.

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