Four years after opening a distribution center in Denton, German grocer Aldi Inc. opened a grocery store at 1105 S. Loop 288 on Wednesday morning.
“Real estate construction is a funny thing,” said Christopher Wille, director of operations for Aldi. “We always want to be at the right spot. So sometimes we have to wait for the right location.”
Before opening the store, company officials made welcoming remarks and held a ribbon-cutting accompanied by city officials and community representatives.
This week, Aldi staff shopped at other local stores to compare prices. Those prices turned out to be 36 percent to 50 percent less than their competition, Wille said.
He said the company stands by the quality of the products offered at the store, especially the Aldi brand.
“For whatever reason, if you don’t like it, you bring the product back and you don’t need the receipt,” said Scott W. Huska, vice president of the Denton Division of Aldi. “We will give you your money back and give you another product. We think that says a lot about our commitment to quality.”
Since Aldi’s announcement in December to open a Denton store, company officials held numerous job fairs to invite people to apply for positions.
“I have never seen a turnout to our job fairs like we have had in Denton. The quality of individuals have been stellar,” Wille said.
In 2009, Aldi opened a 500,000-square-foot distribution center at 2500 Westcourt Road in Denton at an estimated cost of $50 million.
That year, the company announced plans for two Denton grocery stores but did not confirm exact locations, according to Denton Record-Chronicle archives.
Nearly 20 people were hired from the local area for positions ranging from shift managers to cashiers for the store, Huska said.
The Aldi Distribution Center in Denton employs about 100 people.
The Denton store manager, J.C. Ramirez — a University of North Texas alumnus — was hired by Aldi in 2008.
In his four years, he has been part of 15 grand openings with the company. His previous store opening was in Oak Cliff in 2010.
“We have always been part of the community at every store we open,” Ramirez said. “It [our store] is built with a sense of ownership.”
Michelle Cunningham, the city’s business development officer, said she was delighted to finally have a store in town.
“We look forward to the opening of one to two stores in our area in the future,” she said.
Huska said the company will be looking to open at least two stores in Denton in the next couple of years. Aldi has 1,200 stores in 32 states.
Shoppers who visit Aldi may notice a difference compared to traditional supermarkets. Shoppers are asked to bring their own grocery bag or buy one at the store for 10 cents or less. They also can rent a shopping cart for 25 cents.
The system cuts down on the labor of collecting carts left in the parking lot and damage to cars, and those savings are passed on to the customer, according to the company’s website.
Another change customers may notice is the store only accepts debit cards or cash.
During the grand-opening festivities, the store offered product sampling and on-site sweepstakes. When customers left the store, they received two free bags.
Jessica Lynch, who went to the store with her children, said she had a good shopping experience.
“We liked the affordable prices,” she said.
The store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit www.aldi.us
Aldi will open another 24 stores in Oklahoma and Texas this year.
The next store opening will be in Sherman this summer.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878 and via Twitter at @KarinaFRamirez.
Where: 1105 S. Loop 288
Details: Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.aldi.us