Aldi expands into Athens, Tennessee, as German-based grocery chain grows across America

This June 5, 2017, photo, shows signage at an Aldi food market, in Salem, N.H. Discounter Aldi, one of the no-frills European chains that offer low prices but far fewer options, and mostly its own brands, is putting the pressure on traditional grocers. Aldi expects to have 2,500 U.S. stores by the end of 2022. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Discount grocer Aldi is expanding into Athens, Tennessee, and will open a new supermarket at 1518 Decatur Pike at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The new Aldi is among 150 new stores the grocery chain plans to open by the end of the year as the Germany-based grocery company seeks to become the nation's third biggest U.S. grocery retailer, behind only Walmart and Kroger. Since entering the Chattanooga market two decades ago, Aldi has grown to include stores in Hixson, Brainerd, Ooltewah, East Brainerd, Fort Oglethorpe, Cleveland and Dalton.

"Our stores are designed to make grocery shopping smarter, faster and easier, and we've been voted the price leader for five years running," Amy Peters, the regional vice president for ALDI, said in an announcement of the new store.