German discount supermarket chain Aldi has been around in the United States since the 1970s – for much of that time, quite quietly. But in recent years, the grocer has made a larger push in the American market, and now, it has its sights targeting the top of the industry. According to Food Business News, Aldi wants to become the country’s third largest grocery store chain, planning to trail only Walmart and Kroger.
Aldi announced today that the company is investing $3.4 billion in capital in an effort to expand to 2,500 US stores by the end of 2022. That’s on top of last month’s announcement that the chain would be investing $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 of its more than 1,600 stores the brand operates across 35 states. “We pioneered a grocery model built around value, convenience, quality and selection, and now Aldi is one of America’s favorite and fastest growing retailers,” Jason Hart, chief executive officer, stated. “We’re growing at a time when other retailers are struggling. We are giving our customers what they want, which is more organic produce, antibiotic-free meats and fresh healthier options across the store, all at unmatched prices up to 50% lower than traditional grocery stores.”
As we discussed last month, Aldi’s expansion is happening in tandem with the growth of another German-based discount retailer, Lidl, which announced it would be launching in the US this year and plans to open as many as 200 stores in the near future. Meanwhile, the grocery industry as a whole has been struggling with lower prices and shrinking earnings. Even former success stories like Whole Foods are looking for ways to reinvent themselves. Apparently, these low-cost German brands see this climate as an opportunity to expand their empire in the US. “We have passionate fans who know Aldi offers a smarter way to feed their families in a modern, convenient and easy-to-shop environment,” Hart said. And if people don’t know about Aldi, they sure will soon.