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O'FALLON, Mo. -- For the first time in its history, discount grocer Aldi said it is launching a regional pilot program to further lower its already discounted prices on more than 100 of some of the most commonly purchased items in St. Louis-area stores.
The program, which begins this week and continues for the next nine weeks, will offer price reductions on products ranging from macaroni to chicken breasts.
"We're proud to offer customers the best possible prices on the quality products they purchase the most," said Paul Piorkowski, Aldi's division v.p. here. "This is an emphatic statement that we will continue to take the lead in value."
The move marks the first time in its history that the chain is enacting such a price reduction, and will look at duplicating the effort across the country following its pilot in the St. Louis area.
The reduced prices are intended to stay, with ALDI re-evaluating periodically what are among the most frequently purchased items for customers. Market conditions also will factor in to long-term pricing, as Aldi continues to beat competitors on price, quality and combined value.
"We are doing this for our loyal customer base as well as giving people new to Aldi a further incentive to try us," said Piorkowski. "We find that once people shop at Aldi, they keep coming back."
Food price inflation rose 5.3 percent in 2007 over 2006 -- the largest increase since 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, Piorkowski said, customers can expect as much as 12 percent to 27 percent price cuts on everything from frozen foods to refrigerated items to dry goods. In the first week, more than 10 items will be reduced in price such as 32 oz. elbow macaroni going from $1.29 to $1.09 while competitors' prices range from $1.50 to $2.59. Aldi's instant mashed potatoes are going from $1.09 to $.99 while competitors are at $1.13 to $1.67.
Aldi, a leader in the international grocery retailing industry, entered the U.S. market in 1976 and operates nearly 900 U.S. stores in 27 states from Kansas to the East Coast.