Aldi spending $7 million to remodel 5 Chattanooga area stores

Aldi spending $7 million to remodel 5 Chattanooga area stores

September 27th, 2017 by Mike Pare in Breaking News

Staff file photo / An Aldi shopper pulls down a second can of baked beans at the Aldi on Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

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Aldi will reopen its newly remodeled Chattanooga store at 5706 Lee Highway Wednesday at 8:45 a.m.. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a Golden Ticket giveaway, eco-friendly bag distribution, and Produce for a Year sweepstakes.

Discount grocer Aldi continues to try to grow market share in the Chattanooga area with plans to spend about $7 million to upgrade five of its units.

Also, Aldi has a target to open a new store serving the Signal Mountain area in early 2018 and it's finalizing the details, said Troy Marshall, vice president of the local division for Aldi.

Officials said Wednesday that the local store refurbishings are part of the company's $1.6 billion investment to remodel 1,300 U.S. units by 2020. Overall, Aldi operates more than 1,600 stores in 35 states.

In Chattanooga, Aldi plans next Wednesday to reopen its newly remodeled store at 5706 Lee Highway.

Staff file photo / An Aldi shopper shows a friend around the the Aldi on Battlefield Parkway.

Staff file photo / An Aldi shopper shows...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

An Aldi sign is shown in this file photo.

An Aldi sign is shown in this file...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

"Customers will recognize our easy-to-shop environment featuring a new modern design and more room for their favorite products," said Marshall.

Lorrie Griffith, editor in chief of industry magazine The Shelby Report, said Aldi's remodeling initiative continues to "up the competitive ante with other grocery retailers."

"They're evolving their concept to offer more fresh food and growing some categories they haven't been strong in," she said.

Aldi officials said its new store look delivers on its customers' desire for a modern and convenient shopping experience. It's focusing on fresh items, including more robust produce, dairy and bakery sections, the company said.

Remodeled stores will also feature open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials such as recycled items, energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting, according to Aldi.

Griffith said the company is looking at its store designs a little bit more, knowing shoppers like "a nice environment."

"They've tweaked that part of the operation," she said, adding the grocer is still concerned about keeping prices down. "It's a balancing act."

Griffith said there are customer groups which will give Aldi a try and that not all shoppers of the discount grocer are low-income customers.

"They find they have high income as well," she said.

This summer, a design firm for Aldi had submitted a building permit application and drawings to put a new store in an outparcel of a former Signal Mountain Road Kmart, which had been under review by the city.

Aldi's move comes as other Chattanooga area grocers continue to upgrade stores and services.

Food City, which has 29 area stores, is remodeling its units and adding fuel centers. Also, Food City is growing its GoCart curbside pickup in its service area.

"GoCart combines the added convenience of drive-through service with the personalization of online shopping. It's truly the best of both worlds," says Steve Smith, the Abingdon, Va.-based company's CEO.

Supermarket chain Publix is adding to its store count in the area, building a unit off Shallowford Road in the Waterside development. Also, the company is said to be looking at a store in Fort Oglethorpe.

Walmart over the past few years has opened new Neighborhood Markets across the Chattanooga area as it tries to make more inroads into the grocery market.

Griffith said that Aldi "certainly is a competitor" to the supermarket chains. She said while it's difficult to fill all a shopper's list at Aldi, the grocer siphons off business from the supermarkets.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.


This story was updated Sept. 27 at 11:15 p.m. with more information.