- Aldi plans to open 120 new stores in the U.S. during 2023 and is working to have more than 2,400 locations across the country by the end of the year, the German grocer announced Friday.
- The discount food retailer said it added 35 stores during the first quarter of 2023, noting that those openings attracted 5.3 million new customers as of last month.
- Aldi’s growth trajectory in 2023 builds on the grocer’s rapid expansion in 2022 during which it added and remodeled 139 U.S. locations against a backdrop of high inflation.
Aldi’s latest announcement reflects a multiyear effort by the grocer to deepen its presence in the United States, where its heavy focus on low prices has helped it become one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains as measured by the number of stores it runs.
As it announced its intention to surpass the 2,400-store mark this year, Aldi said shoppers have been asking it to bring more stores to the areas where they live. By comparison, Kroger ran 2,719 supermarkets as of Jan. 28, and Albertsons had 2,271 retail locations as of Feb. 25.
Aldi counted about 9.4 million new shoppers in 2022 and saw double-digit year-over-year growth, which it attributed to the high inflation that characterized the economy last year. But the company indicated that it believes its momentum with consumers will endure even as inflation continues to calm down.
“While inflation is undoubtedly driving unprecedented demand for affordable groceries, we know that once customers experience the ALDI difference, they keep shopping with us, even when the economy improves,” Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi’s U.S. division, said in a statement. “Our growth is led by our customers, and they continue to want more Aldi locations coast-to-coast.”
Aldi noted that it is entering new markets even as it looks to bolster its presence in areas, like the Southeast, where it already runs stores. The company expects to add stores this year in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, both of which represent new turf for Aldi.
To support its growth, Aldi opened a new distribution facility earlier this year in Loxley, Alabama. The company said it expects the 564,000-square-foot center to eventually serve as many as 100 grocery stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.
Aldi has also noted that it is looking to take advantage of its relatively small locations, which tend to occupy less than 20,000 square feet, as it strives to connect with shoppers. In a written response to questions from Grocery Dive in March about the company’s growth last year in Texas — where it added 400,000 shoppers in the Dallas and Houston regions alone — Aldi Divisional Vice President Karla Waddleton said the company believes its store designs have helped it stand out.
“Our thoughtful, smaller format store layout allows Texans to quickly find the products they are looking for compared to other grocers in Texas that have larger store layouts that can be challenging to navigate,” Waddleton said.
In addition, while the vast majority of the products Aldi sells sport its own private labels, the company also carries a “curated range “ of name brand products intended specifically to appeal to Texas shoppers, like Dr. Pepper soft drinks and Blue Bell ice cream, said Waddleton.