After years of working behind the scenes, German grocery brand Aldi has announced it will open several stores in Arizona by the end of the year.
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The discount grocer, which has its U.S. headquarters in Batavia, Illinois, confirmed four locations will open in November and December. Information gathered by the Business Journal indicates Aldi has plans to open at least 14 stores in the Phoenix metro in the future.
Since November 2017, Aldi has been buying plots of land all over the Valley where it could build stores. It also purchased land in Goodyear for a distribution center and a regional office. According to county records, Aldi spent $35.8 million on 12 pieces of land in Maricopa County, as well as signed two leases for stores in Chandler and Scottsdale.
Aldi said it will open a Chandler location at 2844 S. Alma School Road and a Peoria store at 24665 N. Lake Pleasant Parkway in November. Then in December, the grocery chain will open in Goodyear at 845 N. Estrella Parkway and in Gilbert at 1801 Pecos Road.
During the past few years, Aldi has spent north of $5 billion growing its footprint across the U.S. The company has the goal of becoming the third-largest grocer by store count – behind Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), the parent company of local chain Fry’s Food Stores, and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) – by the end of 2022 and according to Aldi officials, the Arizona market is a key component of this expansion effort.
“We are incredibly excited to open our first stores in Arizona and introduce millions of new shoppers to the most affordable grocery shopping experience,” said Tom Cindel, Moreno Valley group director of operations and logistics for Aldi, in a statement. “Beyond our commitment to always provide the freshest groceries at the lowest prices, we are proud to create job opportunities for residents. Aldi is known as an employer of choice with market-leading wages and benefits, and we look forward to adding the best and brightest Arizona talent to our local Aldi team.”
Combined, the four Valley stores opening during the fourth quarter will create 90 new jobs. Aldi has posted Arizona job openings on its website, including store manager positions.
Phoenix is known as one of the nation’s most competitive grocery markets, and with Aldi making a strong entrance, it is bound to raise some eyebrows among its competitors. Earlier this year, Mark Miller, the president of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, told the Business Journal the discount grocer could shift the Valley’s grocery dynamic.