Discount grocer Aldi is continuing its expansion across the United States, planning to build a new regional distribution center as it opens roughly 150 new stores this year, mainly concentrated in the Gulf Coast region.
The German supermarket chain, with its U.S. headquarters in Batavia, Illinois, is growing its brick-and-mortar footprint in the Southeast. On Thursday it plans to move into Louisiana, the 38th state where it will be operating, with a store debut at 4518 Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Lafayette. Aldi also plans to open two more Gulf Coast stores in early March, along with 20 additional stores throughout the region by year-end, the company said Tuesday in a statement.
With its overall growth plans, Aldi is on track to become the third-largest grocery retailer by store count by the end of 2022, with more than 2,100 stores. More than 1,000 new Aldi stores have opened throughout America over the past decade. Several supermarket chains, such as Lidl and Whole Foods Market, have been in expansion mode in the United States, and the retail segment has become popular with shopping center and even some mall landlords because grocery stores drive foot traffic.
To support its growth in its newest area, Aldi will also be opening a 564,000-square-foot regional headquarters and distribution center at 30820 County Road 49 in Loxley, Alabama, later this year. The $100 million facility will eventually support as many as 100 new stores throughout Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle, according to Aldi. It will become the company’s sixth distribution center in the South and be located on a 147-acre parcel.
The chain will be hiring about 300 store employees and 200 warehouse workers as it increases its presence in the region.
In addition to opening more brick-and-mortar sites, Aldi will expand its curbside-grocery pickup service from 1,200 to 1,500 stores by the end of the year.