Construction underway for an ALDI grocery store

The facade of the former Staples store has been opened up to allow heavy equipment inside. Photo by Mike Diegel.

Construction is underway in a former Staples store on Georgia Avenue with an eye toward opening an ALDI grocery store before the end of the year, according to Frederick division vice president Jeff Baehr.

“The new Silver Spring store will have five aisles and about 12,500 square feet of selling space, as is typical for new ALDI stores,” Baehr said via email. The remodeled space will include natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials such as energy saving refrigeration and LED lighting, he added.

ALDI currently operates more than 1,600 stores in the United States. Earlier this week, the company announced it intended to expand operations to 2,500 stores nationwide by 2022.

The stores carry about two dozen ALDI-exclusive brands representing about 90 percent of the products sold in their stores, Baehr said.

“In the last few years, ALDI has added a number of new product lines,” he added, “including a growing organic selection, USDA Choice meats, the liveGfree gluten-free product line, the SimplyNature line of products free from over 125 artificial ingredients and preservatives and the Never Any! line of meats free from antibiotics, added hormones and animal by-products.”

Each store typically hires 10 to 20 people, he said, and hiring for this store will be announced later this year.

“We offer our employees generous compensation that is higher than other grocery retailers in the market,” Baehr said. “ALDI staff working at least 25 hours per week also receive full health insurance benefits and dental coverage, and all ALDI employees are invited to participate in our 401(k) program.”

One thing about shopping at ALDI customers likely will find to be unfamiliar is a $.25 deposit on grocery carts.

“Customers will need to deposit a quarter to use a cart at ALDI, and when they return the cart to the corral, they will get their quarter back,” Baehr explained. “This saves us and our customers money because our staff can focus on serving shoppers inside the store.”

Other chains, such as New Jersey-based ShopRite, have a similar policy, though the ShopRite on Cherry Hill Road does not follow this practice.

Once the store opens, hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Interior demolition work being done. Photo by Mike Diegel.

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