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Limited-assortment grocer ALDI has joined the parade of retailers eager to display their sustainability cred, with the opening of its first "green" store in East Syracuse, N.Y.
Features of the pilot store, which, like most ALDI locations, is around 17,000 square feet, with roughly 10,000 square feet of retail space, include diamond-shaped LED lighting on the inside of the store's upright coolers, illuminating products and providing 80 percent energy savings over fluorescent lighting; LED lighting for the street-front exterior sign, which will reduce the approximately annual maintenance and replacement required for fluorescent fixtures; new cooling and refrigeration systems that save energy use; and energy management systems within the store to monitor store traffic and dim or turn off lights in areas of the store without recent foot traffic, including when the store is closed.
ALDI's goal with the pilot store is to achieve a 30 percent reduction in the utility footprint, as compared to older stores," ALDI spokeswoman Martha Swaney told Progressive Grocer. "Green measures in the pilot store will also help save consumers money."
Swaney also mentioned other longtime eco-friendly practices of the Batavia, Ill.-based grocer: In all of its over 900 stores from Kansas to the East coast, it recycles 100 percent of the packaging for the products it ships and sells, and the grocer encourages shoppers to reuse shopping bags or bring their own from home, reducing the waste from bags that are used once and then discarded.
East Syracuse was chosen for the pilot launch because it's "a competitive market for ALDI and is expected to serve as a good indicator for how green stores will succeed in other markets," according to Swaney.
When asked about future rollout plans for the concept, Swaney replied, "We expect the green ALDI store to do well; experiences and best practices proven by the green store will guide rollout plans in other areas."