German grocery will bring discount prices to Waco

aldi_store1By Taylor Rexrode
Staff Writer

Another low-cost grocery store has arrived in Waco, and it’s not Walmart or H.E.B.

Aldi, a German discount grocery store, will be open for business Feb. 28 on the corner of Wooded Acres and Valley Mills drives.

According to their website, Aldi opened its first store in Germany in 1913 and came to the U.S. in 1976.

Brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht expanded the single store into a company, starting up 50 stores in Germany by 1954.

Today there are more than 7,000 on three continents. The new Waco store will be one of over 1,000 stores across 31 states in the U.S.

Bushland junior Trenton Garza enjoyed shopping at Aldi when he lived in Missouri. He has been looking forward to the grocery store opening since ground broke last year.

“The way it is set up is different from typical grocery stores,” Garza said. “It’s a brand of it’s own. You won’t find that stuff at Walmart or H.E.B.”
The majority of Aldis products from canned goods to paper products are Aldi brands, keeping prices low. Ponca City, Okla., senior Kate Lee sees the Aldi brand and prices are suited for people on a budget. She said the lack of name brand items should not deter customers.
“It opened in my hometown a couple years ago,” Lee said.

“I started shopping there and noticed it’s a lot cheaper with the Aldi brand. Just because it’s a different brand doesn’t mean it isn’t good. And they usually have pretty fresh produce,” she said.

The discount grocery chain also cuts costs by having few people on staff. They use a shopping cart deposit system to keep the small staff out of the parking lot retrieving carts.

Shoppers pay 25 cents for a cart and then get their quarter back after returning their cart to the corral. Shoppers are also encouraged to bring their own bags or boxes to keep their shopping experience and their wallets greener.

“Bring a quarter and bags or you’ll be out of luck,” Garza said. “In the end, it helps your pocketbook.”

Lee prefers Aldi over other stores, but she admits that the experience can require time in the day with fewer checkout lines and cashiers.

“They keep personnel to a minimum,” Lee said. “There will be one or two people checking out and lines can be long. You have to have time when you go. But I probably save at least $20 a month on groceries there.”

Garza believes this kind of inexpensive shopping experience is perfect for college students and anyone else on a budget.
“If you came from money then Aldi won’t be your store,” Garza said. “They’ll have the basic stuff. It’s what college kids need.”