Disruptive force: Three things to know about Aldi

Blink and you’ll miss the latest developments in the fast-moving (and cutthroat) grocery arena.

Here’s what’s happening now: Discount grocer Aldi is partnering with online delivery scheduler Instacart to enter the home grocery delivery business in three big cities.

“From their unique assortment of goods to their low price commitment and high standards, the Aldi and Instacart partnership aligns on delivering excellent value and convenience to consumers,” Apoorva Mehta, chief executive of Instacart, said in Aldi’s announcement Monday. “There’s a clear demand for quality grocery delivery, and Aldi and Instacart are working together to meet it.”

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Here are three things to know about Aldi.

1. Trader Joe’s and Aldi share a common owner

That’s right. Aldi found its beginning in Germany in the late 1940s and is owned today by the German Albrecht family, who ran a company called Albrecht Discounts.

While Trader Joe’s may be based in Southern California, Albrecht acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979.

The chains seem quite different at first glance, but both offer an assortment of unique brands — “the near absence of brands you’d recognize,” as Time magazine put it in 2013 — and both pride themselves on being competitive price-wise.

And they are both arguably two of the forces out there shaking up the grocery market.

2. Aldi plans on 2,500 U.S. stores in five years.

Building on an established $1.6 billion plan to remodel 1,300 stores by 2020, the grocery retailer in June unveiled an updated plan to invest $3.4 billion in the expansion to 2,500 stores nationwide by the end of 2022.

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“With this growth, Aldi will be the third largest grocery store by count in the U.S. and (will) serve 100 million customers per month,” the company said.

In all, Aldi said in June that it plans a total capital investment of $5 billion in new and remodeled stores over the next five years, adding 25,000 new jobs in stores, warehouses and offices.

Drive around a bit, and you’re bound to see a local Aldi’s. The chain has at least eight stores in the immediate Dayton area, from Englewood to Franklin.

Today, the company operates more than 1,600 U.S. stores in 35 states.

3. Aldi opened a new local store in Beavercreek last year.

A new Aldi store opened in early December as the anchor of a new retail development in Beavercreek.

The Aldi, located at the south end of the retail development, opened on Dec 12, 2016. The store is located at 2451 Lakeview Drive right off of North Fairfield Drive.

The new store replaced the Aldi located at 4886 Airway Road, which closed in December.

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