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USA: Aldi eyes expansion into 38th state after opening 2,000th store

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Discount Retail Chain Aldi has hit the 2,000-store mark in the United States and, in another expansion wave, plans to open more than 70 new locations by the end of 2020, extending its reach into a new state.

According to Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi U.S., the company officially reached 2,000 stores in June with the opening of two new stores in California. Overall, Aldi expects to open 100 stores in 2020.

Later this year, Aldi is slated to enter Arizona, which will be the hard discount grocer’s 37th state, with the opening of four new stores in the greater Phoenix market.

Aldi, too, is setting the foundation for a Gulf Coast expansion. Plans call for the retailer to break ground in 2021 on a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Loxley, Ala. The facility will serve new stores in southern Alabama, across the Florida panhandle and in Louisiana. The chain now operates 180 stores in Alabama and Florida as well as four regional headquarters and DCs in the region. 

The new stores and market areas are part of a $5 billion, five-year expansion strategy that Aldi unveiled in 2017. Under a plan announced in June 2017, the company is investing $3.4 billion to expand from 1,700 to 2,500 stores nationwide — and serving 100 million customers per month — by the end of 2022. Aldi has set target to become the 3rd largest grocery retailer in the USA by 2022. That effort followed a $1.6 billion store refresh project launched in February 2017, which calls for the remodeling and/or expansion of over 1,300 stores by the end of 2020.

In August 2018, Aldi also embarked on major product expansion in which 20% of items in every store will be new compared with a year ago. The company, too, increased its fresh food selection by 40%, focusing on new produce, meat and organic foods, along with easy-to-prepare items.

In entering new markets, Aldi has seen a strong response to its consumer proposition of easy-to-shop stores, high-quality store brands and low pricing, according to Hart.

Although the coronavirus outbreak has led many businesses across the country to suspend growth plans, Aldi has been able to press ahead with its expansion program.

The curbside pickup is due to be in place at almost 600 stores by the end of July, Aldi reported. Through Instacart, which powers the front end for the online pickup service, the retailer also offers grocery delivery in more than 10,000 ZIP codes.

Hart said Aldi has been able to adjust to the changing shopper behavior and supply chain disruptions seen across the grocery retail sector.

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