Aldi is adding 800 new stores across the US

Aldi grocery store
AP Photo/Matt Rourke,

Aldi plans to add 800 of its discount grocery stores across the U.S. in a five-year expansion plan as it looks to capitalize on cost-conscious Americans feeling the pinch at grocery stores.

Inflation has led many consumers to change the way they shop. Tired of prices that remain about 19%, on average, above where they were before the pandemic, consumers are seeking new avenues to cut down on spending. In grocery stores, they’re shifting away from name brands to store-brand items, switching to discount stores or simply buying fewer items like snacks or gourmet foods.

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The growing consumer pushback against what critics condemn as price-gouging has been most evident with food, as well as with consumer goods like paper towels and napkins.

Pricing is also being eyed by the federal government, with the Federal Trade Commission suing last month to block a proposed merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying that the $24.6 billion deal would eliminate competition and lead to higher prices for millions of Americans. Kroger and Albertsons, two of the nation’s largest grocers, agreed to merge in October 2022.

U.S. prices for food eaten at home typically rise 2.5% per year, but in 2022 they rose 11.4% and in 2023 they rose another 5%, according to government data.

Aldi said Thursday that its plan includes new store openings and store conversions. It’s looking to add almost 330 stores across the Northeast and Midwest regions by the end of 2028. The company will also add more stores in southern California and Phoenix and enter new cities, including Las Vegas.

Aldi, which recently closed on its acquisition of Southeastern Grocers, said that it will convert a significant number of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations to its format over the next several years.

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“Our growth is fueled by our customers, and they are asking for more ALDI stores in their neighborhoods nationwide,” Aldi CEO Jason Hart said in a statement.

The company, based in Batavia, Illinois, just west of Chicago, will invest more than $9 billion into its national expansion.

By Scripps News via AP

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