Aldi Arrives in Westchase

Discount Grocer Adds Variety to Retail

New Grocer on the Block: ALDI opened its 9525 Westheimer Road store in a former Ace Hardware at Tanglewilde Center.

You’ll find ALDI in cities, suburbs and rural areas. And, now you’ll also find it in Westchase District. One of the newest ALDI stores in Houston opened at 9525 Westheimer Road in October.

ALDI’s entry increases grocery options in Westchase District. Randalls and Kroger are within a mile of the store on Westheimer. Whole Foods Market is 2.4 miles away.

At 18,900 square-feet of space in Tanglewilde Center, the ALDI Westchase location is one of the latest in the brand’s planned expansion to 2,500 stores nationwide in the next two years.

Location Factors: District is Place to Be

Interest for an ALDI was high prior to its opening in the former Ace Hardware. ALDI store manager Santiago Font heard from customers who would search for the nearest locations and couldn’t find any nearby.

According to ALDI Rosenburg Division Vice President Karla Waddleton, the company looks at many factors when choosing a store location. “We want the best sites that are closest to our shoppers and can support a high daily traffic volume. As the demand for ALDI grows, so do our real estate options. Bottom line, we want to be conveniently located for our shoppers,” she said. The area’s thriving population in multifamily apartments and single-family homes met their criteria.

“Shoppers love our prices and concept. The response has been everything that we expected,” said Font.

A Different Kind of Grocery Store

ALDI stores are smaller than their competitors which enables it to offer lower prices due to fewer employees and simple store layouts. Its approach is operational efficiency. There are no butchers serving the meat section which carries fresh pork, chicken and beef. The stores also feature open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials.

Store manager Santiago Font says ALDI came to Westchase at the perfect time.

In an age of online retailers like Amazon, ALDI’s growth parallels how customers have evolved from larger traditional supermarkets that sell more to easier, affordable finds that offer convenience. Even though industry sees ALDI as a discount grocer, it sometimes carries unexpected products like home furnishings such as ottomans, trim pillows and chairs.

“Our stores also provide a consistent, streamlined and efficient shopping experience,” said Waddleton. The typical ALDI store is about 12,000 square feet of retail space and only four or five aisles, which makes them simpler and easier to navigate than traditional supermarkets.

“As part of our remodel initiative, we’ve added even more refrigeration space to accommodate 40 pecent more fresh food in stores. At our core, we are different by design. We are private-label trailblazers and have set the industry standard for quality and affordability. Our priority focus is saving people money on the food and products they want most, and we do this by offering shoppers a curated selection of ALDI-exclusive brands.”

Private Label Value Finds

ALDI’s private-label business model enables it to work closely with suppliers. Earth Grown line, which started as an ALDI Find, was recently launched and the products flew off the shelves.

“We always listen to our customers’ feedback and adapt quickly to bring new products to market. In as little as seven months from its debut as an ALDI Find, we added Earth Grown to our everyday selection. This is the fastest we’ve ever brought a line of products to market,” explained Waddleton.

Nonetheless, ALDI’s presence brings innovation in the grocery store space in the District, making the area’s 4.2 square miles of shopping variety one of Houston’s best.

“People want grocery shopping to be easy so they can get on with their lives. We’ve removed the guesswork from shopping. People appreciate how our simple, streamlined experience can provide what they need on their first, and only, shopping trip,” said Waddleton.

“Plus, we’ve found there’s a thrill to finding a great deal. Our shoppers love bragging to friends about an award-winning wine or a trendy item like low-calorie, protein-rich ice cream that they found for a low price.”


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