New ALDI Store in Leland is an Economic Boost
If the December 7 grand opening was any indication, the new ALDI grocery store at the Leland Town Center is going to be a popular shopping option in Leland.
“People started lining up at 5:30 am for the 8 am opening – and it was raining!” says Gary Vidmar, economic and community development director for the Town of Leland.
Those who’ve moved to Brunswick County from other parts of the country and shopped at an ALDI store before knew the deals that were coming to Leland. Having scored ALDI’s organic produce and gluten-free cookies for super-low prices before, they told their Brunswick County neighbors about it.
“As soon as we announced through our channels the launch date and festivities of the grand opening, we saw our social media numbers climb just from that release,” says Jackie Harlow, Leland’s tourism and marketing coordinator. That explains the line of umbrellas and lawn chairs that wrapped Leland’s ALDI the morning of its grand opening.
A self-proclaimed “low-price leader,” ALDI is a German-based, no-frills grocery outlet chain founded in 1913 by Anna Albrecht in the small mining town of Essen, Germany. Her sons expanded ALDI across Europe and into the United States.
A study by Cheapism says ALDI’s prices are “shockingly cheaper” than even Walmart’s. A recent research report by My Home Move found that ALDI stores in the United Kingdom are causing surrounding home values to increase.
With Leland’s ALDI being the only one in Brunswick County and no future ALDI stores planned, Vidmar is predicting its economic impact for the town of Leland to be significant and long lasting. “Until this store opened we had a number of Brunswick County residents traveling over to Wilmington. Those folks will now be shopping here, and residents in other surrounding towns will be coming here too.”
ALDI added three stores to the Cape Fear area in 2017, two in Wilmington, as part of an aggressive $3.4 billion capital investment plan to expand to 2,500 ALDI stores nationwide by the end of 2022 and go from 40 million customers a year in the United States to 100 million.
The search for a perfect Brunswick County spot began two years ago, and ALDI chose the corner of Ploof Road and U.S. 17 in Leland, a.k.a., the new 60-acre Leland Town Center.
“They talked to the developer and zeroed in on that particular site,” Vidmar says. “Over time, as that center unfolds, the folks shopping at ALDI will find their way into that shopping center to do other shopping and dining. It won’t just be a one stop.”
Krysta Cearley, ALDI Salisbury division vice president, says the company looks at a variety of factors, such as population, density and traffic patterns, when selecting a new location. “We are thrilled to have joined the community’s new Leland Town Center,” she says.
ALDI is known for its award-winning wine and cheeses, low-priced organic produce, antibiotic-free meats, gluten-free products and random steals, like $24.99 rechargeable Sonic toothbrushes and Hyacinths in a glass vase for three bucks. Their specialty German cookies and candies can’t be found anywhere else.
The low prices come from lowering overhead. There are no name brands at ALDI (it’s 90% private labels) eliminating the middleman and passing the savings on to customers. Shelves are stocked by simply putting the boxes out, reducing the need for an abundance of employees, which again transcends into discounts for customers. Small stores equal even more savings. Leland’s ALDI is 19,000 square feet with an average 1,400 items compared to a typical Harris Teeter at more than 45,000 square feet and over 40,000 products.
A few things first-time ALDI shoppers need to know:
- It’s B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bag) or you’ll have to buy one of theirs.
- Bring a quarter. A quarter is needed to rent a shopping cart. You get it back when you bring your cart back, therefore cutting the need to pay an extra employee to do it.
- Download the ALDI app for even more savings and alerts on one-time items.
Announcements will be made later this year about the new retailers joining ALDI at the Leland Town Center.