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    Aldi Dedicating $180M to Chicago-Area Remodels

    Stores make up 10% of intended remodels

    Hard-discount grocer Aldi has plans to spend roughly $180 million remodeling 130 of its 150 Chicago-area stores by 2020, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    The remodeled stores will be “brighter, more contemporary in design” and, in certain cases, up to about 13,000 square feet larger, the newspaper said. This is to allow for an expansion of natural and organic private label products.

    The move appears to involve roughly 10 percent of the 1,300 stores planned for the chain's $1.6 billion overall remodeling initiative, which was first unveiled in February. The Batavia, Ill.-based company says its new store look “delivers on its customers' desire for a modern and convenient shopping experience with a focus on fresh items, including more robust produce, dairy and bakery sections.”

    Remodeled stores will also feature open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials, such as recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting.

    It hasn't escaped industry observers' notice that Aldi has embarked on its aggressive remodeling program ahead of the entry into the United States of Lidl, its arch-rival in Europe, which will open its first stores in this country on June 15.

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