A German-based grocery chain is renovating the former Circuit City shopping center in Lake Grove.
Aldi, a discount supermarket originally started in Germany, is currently gutting the Circuit City location on Alexander Avenue. The market plans to open for business by the summer of 2012, according to spokeswoman Amy Nadler. An exact date has not yet been determined.
Aldi will take over 19,000 square feet of the shopping center, or approximately half of the former 37,000-square-foot Circuit City footprint, according to Long Island Business News. LIBN also reported real estate agent Jeremy Isaacs of Ripco Real Estate is in talks with other national retailers to fill the other 18,000 square feet.
The new storefront would join Bay Shore as the second Aldi market on Long Island.
Aldi, short for Albrecht Discount, was started in Germany in 1913, expanding to open its first store in the United States in southeastern Iowa in 1976. The chain now has more than 1,000 stores in 31 different states and is rapidly expanding, having opened 25 storefronts since September.
Aldi is owned by the same parent as Trader Joe's, a similarly modeled market known for private-label brands and low prices.
According to a New York Times article written last spring, the grocer has inched ahead of the competition particularly in urban areas, as better-known retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target have often come up against fierce opposition.
For customers at Aldi, however, “There is a little bit of an education that comes along with shopping the store,” an Aldi regional director is quoted as saying.
According to the company's website, about 95 percent of the stores' inventories "are sold under exclusive Aldi select brands." The obscure labels allow for lower prices.
Other practices unfamiliar to many customers include charging a quarter deposit to rent a cart – so they're not left in the middle of the parking lot and retrieved by paid employees – and unabashedly charging for shopping bags. The stores also do not accept credit cards.
The article notes that as of 2009 – the most recent figures available – Aldi was the world's eighth largest retailer, behind Costco and ahead of Home Depot and Target.
Isaacs told LIBN that the food store giant has plans to build 12 new storefronts in Nassau and Suffolk County within the next few years.