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The Villages
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Loyal ALDI shoppers line up for reopening of renovated grocery store

More than 75 enthusiastic and loyal customers of ALDI were lined up Thursday morning, waiting for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the renovated grocery store on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in Lady Lake.

Al Ware, of the Del Webb community, had been the first to arrive — at 6:15 a.m. — more than two hours before the grand reopening.  

Patiently waiting for the store’s reopening are Al Ware of Del Webb; Pat Jeschke and Sue Mitman, both of Spruce Creek South; Linda Carter, of Rio Grande; BJ Howard of Santo Domingo, and Lois Raley of Briar Meadow.

Right behind him was Lana Carter, a Village of Rio Grande resident.

“For the past six years I have been an exclusive shopper of ALDI’s,” she said.  “I feel it has superior brands, the produce is very fresh, and I appreciate its ‘double-back’ guarantee.”

Jim Radatz and Les Bullock, both of Stonecrest, were two of the early shoppers.

The inside of the store was redesigned to promote its fresh food, meat, produce sections and wide selection of cheeses.

“We now have a new look with new graphics that highlight the different areas, a new color scheme, brighter lighting and wider aisles,” explained Bob Schmalz, ALDIs Division Director of Store Operations. 

Chad Kalter, corporate director of customer relations, left, and Bob Schmalz, division director of store operations, inspect the produce section immediately before the store’s opening.

There also are new coolers, freezers and shelving units.

“This store was built in 2008. Now, after this eight-week renovation, we expanded from 12,000 to 13,000 square feet that will allow us to introduce new products during the coming year,” Schmalz added. 

The chain was founded by Karl and Thoe Albrecht, who had taken over their mother’s grocery store in Essen, Germany. They choose the name that was short for “Albrecht-Diskont.”

The first store in the United States opened in 1961 in Iowa. Now, the American division, headquartered in Batavia, Ill., operates 1,750 stores in 35 states and expects to increase to some 2,000 in the next four years.

A $1.6 billion initiative is underwriting the remodeling of the Lady Lake location and 1,300 other stores through 2020.

Angela Maci, shift manger and training captain, completes last minute stocking of the wine shelves.
A ribbon was cut at the store Thursday morning.
The queue of waiting customers, a half-an-hour before the doors’ opened to the public at ALDI.

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