- Aldi has opened a new distribution center in Loxley, Alabama, that is intended to eventually serve up to 100 grocery stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle, the discount chain announced Tuesday.
- The 564,000-square-foot facility will initially serve the roughly 30 Aldi locations along the Gulf Coast — 20 of which opened in the last year alone, according to the company.
- The new facility reflects Aldi’s ambitions to significantly expand its presence in the United States, where it already runs nearly 2,300 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C.
Aldi’s newest regional warehouse underscores the company’s goal of intensifying its focus on the Gulf Coast as part of its growth trajectory. The facility is similar in capacity to the 25 other regional distribution centers Aldi operates across the country, even though well over half of the stores it is designed to serve have yet to open, according to an Aldi spokesperson.
The grocer plans to open 13 stores in the Gulf Coast region this year, including one in Fairhope, Alabama, that is slated to open on March 2, the spokesperson told Grocery Dive in an email. Aldi is also developing stores in Callaway, Florida; Flowood and Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area, according to the spokesperson.
The new building incorporates a range of design elements to boost its efficiency, including roof-mounted solar power units, environmentally friendly refrigeration equipment and metal panel insulation, Aldi said in the announcement. The facility also includes cross-docking capabilities, the spokesperson said.
Aldi has brought on 120 new employees to run the facility and plans ultimately to have a workforce of about 200 at the center, according to the company. The grocer added that it believes the facility will serve a market of more than 8 million shoppers when all 100 stores tied to the warehouse are in operation.
Aldi has taken steps in recent months to invest in its digital infrastructure in addition to building more brick-and-mortar locations. The retailer, which has long depended on Instacart to handle its e-commerce operations, has been working with Spryker, a German technology company, to develop and test an online grocery ordering system that provides pickup and delivery service in an hour, Spryker’s CEO said last October.