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Aldi accelerates store expansion as supermarket wars heat up


A German discount grocer has set its sights on becoming the third-largest American food retailer by store count, behind Walmart and Kroger.

Aldi said it plans to invest $3.4 billion to open 900 stores by the end of 2022, giving it 2,500 stores nationwide. The grocer currently operates approximately 1,600 stores in 35 U.S. states. Earlier this year, Aldi announced it would invest $1.6 billion in to remodel 1,300 of its stores by 2020.

Aldi's $5 billion investment come at a time of intense competition in the supermarket industry, particularly in the discount niche. On June 15, another German discount grocer, Lidl, will make its U.S. debut, opening the first of 20 stores it plans to open this summer in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Lidl expects to have up to 100 stores across the East Coast

by 2018.

In May, Lidl said it would price products up to 50% lower than rivals. Meanwhile, Walmart is also testing lower prices in select states as it look to win back its position as the low-price leader.

"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," said Jason Hart, CEO. "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."

Aldi has been upgrading the look of its stores with a more modern design that includes open ceilings, wider aisles and more natural lighting. It also is adding more fresh foods, gluten-free options, sustainable seafood, specialty wines and cheeses, and organic items from its SimplyNature line.
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