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    Publix, Aldi, Food Lion Plan Multiple New Units in Metro Atlanta

    The slow economy is not stopping these chains from eyeing growth in the Atlanta market over the next year and a half.

    Several grocery chains have plans to increase their presence in metro Atlanta during the next 18 months in spite of a tough economy. Publix, Aldi, and Food Lion all plan to open new units in the Southeast hub.

    Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets has plans to add nine stores to the Atlanta market within the next 18 months, including its first Georgia store with a fuel center. Publix ranks third in metro Atlanta with 143 stores and 22.4 percent of the market, according to local newspaper the Shelby Report.

    Aldi, with 21 stores in the area, plans to open four stores by the end of 2008 and three more in 2009. "The grocery market is a stable industry to be in," Robert Ochs, Georgia director of real estate for Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi said. "We've seen growth this year and we hope to continue that trend. We're far from reaching our potential with 21 stores." Atlanta could very well see more than 50 stores in the market, he said.

    Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion LLC, with three stores in North Georgia, plans to add a second store in Carrollton and one in Dawsonville in late 2008 and one in Newnan in 2009, said Karen Peterson, Food Lion spokeswoman.

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