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Aldi opens first outlet in NYC

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NEW YORK — Aldi has made its New York City debut with the opening of a store in the borough of Queens.

Aldi has made its New York City debut with the opening of a store in the borough of Queens.

The store is located in an area known as Rego Park, in a shopping center that opened last year and is already home to outlets operated by Costco Wholesale Corp. and Kohl’s Corp.

In 2005 the site’s developer, Vornado Realty Trust, was talking to Walmart about having that retailer use the site for its first outlet in the city. Those plans were dropped in the face of strong opposition from labor groups and local politicians.

Although Aldi is no big-box retailer, it does represent a potent competitive threat to the area’s grocery stores. Aldi estimates that its prices are up to 45% less than those of traditional food stores in the area. And because Aldi has brought its traditional floor plan to Queens, its store offers 8-foot-wide aisles far more spacious than what shoppers in the neighborhood are used to.

The outlet also features the same limited assortment and focus on store brands as its stores elsewhere in the country. The store carries about 1,400 SKUs, sold under the Aldi Select brand.

"At Aldi, everything we do is designed with one goal in mind — to help our customers stretch their grocery dollars," says Bruce Persohn, vice president of the company’s South Windsor division in Connecticut.

Aldi plans to open two more outlets in the city within the next 12 months. One will be located in the Bay Shore section of Queens, and the other will be in the Bronx. The company says it is looking for other locations in the city, as well as in nearby Long Island.


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