Aldi to open another 900 stores in US

Aldi is planning to open 900 new stores in the United States in the next four years.

The announcement comes days before its fellow German discount grocery store chain Lidl opens its first American stores.

Aldi, which first came to stateside with a store in Iowa in 1976, currently has 1,600 stores in 35 states.

In addition to its planned $3.4 billion capital investment which comes with 25,000 new jobs, the supermarket company also said it plans to spend $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 of its existing stores by 2020, according to the company.

Aldi's stores are smaller than traditional supermarkets; shoppers walk up and down about five aisles in a 12,000-foot-space. And those aisles are 90% stocked with house brands, such as Southern grove (nuts and dried fruit), Savoritz (crackers) and Simply Natural (numerous categories). Store also have an area where new non-food merchandise, ranging from flip-flops to luggage to wet-dry vacs, is sold for a limited time.

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

The supermarket industry is already crowded, as old-school grocery chains now have to compete with big-box stores, online companies and specialty stores, like Whole Foods.

Lidl also uses the small-store model, though its size is around 20,000. And like Aldi, it offers a limited selection of products, the vast majority of which as exclusive brands.

Its first U.S. stores open in Virginia and the Carolinas on Thursday.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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