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National discount grocer Aldi, which has been vigorously touting its ability to help consumers stretch their food bucks, is planning to expand its U.S. presence with 75 new stores, many of which will be situated in Walmart Stores' home turf, as well as its first New York City location.
The latest news from the international grocery leader falls in step with its ongoing expansion in Florida and Texas, both major strongholds of Walmart.
Unlike its expansion in 2008, during which the chain opened 100 stores, including its first in Florida, Aldi plans to open the projected 75 stores over the next 12 months or so in the 29 states where it already has a presence -- an area stretching from Kansas to the East Coast, company spokeswoman Martha Swaney told Progressive Grocer. The reason for the new stores, she added, was that Aldi was "continuing to meet customer demand."
Aldi -- which entered the U.S. market in 1976 and now operates nearly 1,000 U.S. stores in 29 states from its Chicago-area U.S. headquarters -- also opened a new distribution center last fall in Haines City, Fla., to support some 25 new Sunshine State stores and recently confirmed details of its Texas blueprint, which also calls for opening at least 25 stores in Dallas-Fort Worth area starting in spring 2010-- including the conversion of former freestanding Albertsons and Super 1 Foods stores, and a $40 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Denton, its DC in the Southwest.
The latest iteration of Aldi's U.S. expansion calls for more emphasis on fresh foods, including produce.