ALDI Opening First Local Store in Aberdeen Later This Year

ALDI Opening First Local Store in Aberdeen Later This Year

Originally Posted in The Pilot Newspaper on July 19, 2013

By: Ted M. Natt Jr., staff writerthepilot.com

Five years after its initial look at the Moore County market, discount grocer ALDI plans to open its first local store next to CVS/pharmacy on U.S. 1 in Aberdeen by the end of the year.

Dave Throckmorton, director of store operations for the ALDI Salisbury Division, said the decision to enter the market came down to a number of factors.

“We base our location decisions on population density, proximity to competition, cost of the property and traffic patterns,” Throckmorton said last week. “We want to be conveniently based where ALDI shoppers are located.”

Patrick Coughlin, president and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, said the store will fill “a needed niche” in the county.

“Their location is extremely convenient, especially for their target demographic,” Coughlin said. “What makes their location even better is the ease of access from the residential sections of Southern Pines and Aberdeen. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction from people who know ALDI is coming.”

Throckmorton said a typical ALDI employs 10 to 15 people.

“ALDI employees receive generous wages and benefits that are significantly higher than the national average,” he said. “Employees averaging more than 20 hours a week receive full health insurance benefits.”

ALDI stores feature a layout of four to five aisles, and approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space to display more than 1,400 of the most commonly purchased groceries, including fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and bakery items.

“The ALDI store model realizes tremendous operating cost savings and efficiencies that are passed directly to our customers via everyday low prices,” Throckmorton said.

The ALDI approach includes:

n No in-store frills like banking, pharmacy, bagging clerks, check cashing or other non-essential grocery store services.

n No marketing/advertising costs built in. The company does not sell major brand-name products like most grocers.

n Cash and debit only. Credit cards and checks are not accepted due to handling costs.

ALDI also eliminates overhead costs by offering a cart rental system. Shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and receive the quarter back upon the cart’s return. Other cost-saving practices include open carton displays and encouragement of customers to bring their own shopping bags.

Coughlin said the CVS and ALDI create “a more contemporary use” for the property, which formerly housed an aging hotel that had been turned into a business park.

“From a redevelopment standpoint, it certainly is in keeping with everything else that is happening along U.S. 1 and U.S. 15-501,” he said.

The Aberdeen store will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday; from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

ALDI, which is headquartered in Batavia, Ill., operates more than 1,200 stores in 32 states. Over the last several years, the company has annually opened between 50 and 80 new stores.

Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or tnatt@thepilot.com.