The pilot program will lease in-store space to Aldi at up to ten locations.
If you thought Aldi's expansion into America seemed unstoppable already, its latest initiative should validate suspicions, because the European discount grocery store chain is now making its way into other stores. Announced today, department store Kohl's will be running a pilot program that will bring Aldi inside up to ten stores this year as it readjusts the size of its real estate.
Kohl's program would essentially lease the space inside the store to Aldi, in tandem with shrinking Kohl's own footprint. The move, CNBC reports, seems reminiscent of Target's addition of in-house grocery stores over the last decade or so, but with the added benefit of the brand recognition (and quality) of the beloved chain.
Aldi could be just one of the potential mini-stores Kohl's could be looking to integrate—there's already Amazon kiosks in some, and fitness and convenience stores are possible options as well. So who knows? Maybe one day in the future you'll be able to shop for a new pair of slacks and some of the Almond Spekulatius, Pfeffernüsse, Gefüllte Herzen Vollmilch, and Zimtsterne cookies Food & Wine tried last November, in the same store. Or a new carpet and a 7 dollar wine that beat a bottle 50 times its price in competition!
Really, when it comes to department store/grocery store integration, then, Aldi is a pretty strong choice. While other stores have also gotten in on the game, Aldi's range of European imports gives it a unique lineup of snacks that aren't found it in most other non-specialty grocery chains in the U.S. This could be why its (relatively cheap) fancy chocolates are so chocolate snob-approved. Either way, Kohl's could just be the beginning for Aldi, which plans to invest $3.4 billion in capital in an effort to grow to 2,500 U.S. stores by the end of 2022. With the Kohl's deal, it seems like Americans will soon have more Aldi options than ever.