Aldi opened a new store in La Habra, California, Jan. 18 at 1001 E. Imperial Highway. The store celebrated the opening with product samples and giveaways, and guests got an early glimpse of Aldi’s new look, which will make its way to the low-cost retailer’s stores across the country.
“We’re really excited to be in La Habra,” John Alvarez, director of store operations in Southern California, told The Shelby Report’s VP-West Bob Reeves at the opening. “This is a prototype store for us…Aldi in California is on the cutting edge, so this is our newest design of our stores. We’ve got a brand new graphics package; it’s definitely going to be an amazing looking store. And we’re always updating, so what we roll out here, it definitely goes to the rest of the country.”
This Aldi, along with the retailers’ other California stores, also boasts a larger selection of items compared to stores in other parts of the country.
At 17,000 s.f., it’s “large enough to carry our full range of products,” said Alvarez. “Here in California, we actually carry about 180 extra items to make sure that we definitely service the California market—that’s a full range of organic, that’s a full range of gluten free. And then our meat, fresh cheese, gourmet item selections are larger than what we would carry in the rest of the U.S.”
The company is confident that the store will be competitive in the local market—so confident that it’s located right across the street from a Walmart.
“It’s a great location. Walmart, they’re smart in their business model, so this is a great location for us,” Alvarez noted. “We would like to be near as much competition and where the heart of the shopping area is within a community.”
The La Habra Aldi also marks a milestone for the retailer.
“(This location) is very important, as we’ve connected all these towns in the Los Angeles market here,” said Alvarez. “We’re still going to be growing, but this will kind of complete our line of stores that we have in this community.”
The new store may fill in that last gap, but Aldi isn’t slowing down. Alvarez estimates that it will open about 20 more stores in the region this year.