“America’s Best” grocery store may be coming to Chula Vista. As a business prospectus seems to indicate, the west side of Chula Vista may be getting a new grocery store chain called “ALDI.” The store uses a completely different model altogether from your usual grocery store. It is somewhat like Food for Less, somewhat like Trader Joe’s, somewhat like Costco, and somewhat . . . well, just different. It’s owned by a German company with 10,000 stores around the world (in 18 countries) and with plans to open about 25 stores in Southern California.
ALDI (short for Albrecht Discount) is a sibling of Trader Joe’s (another German company) but uses a different business model. ALDI uses the same private brand approach (90% of the items are private brand) as Trader Joe’s but also employs other tactics that people who shop at Ralph’s or Vons may not be used to. For example, if you want a cart, you need to deposit a quarter which you then get back when you return the cart. There is also high efficiency in stocking, for example, items are added to shelves still in their boxes, and milk arrives in carts so it’s easier to stock. Like at Costco, the consumer is not given too many options. While a typical grocery store would offer 40,000 items, ALDI’s offers just 1,400 choices.
Oh, did I mention that you need to bag your own groceries and bring your own bags?
What does this all add up to? Cheap prices. Some claim 45% cheaper than traditional stores. Quality of the products will have to be seen to be determined but keep in mind that this is a discount grocery store.
Not only is it great news that the former Target store location (Fourth and C Street south of the 54 freeway) could be replaced by something useful, but getting such a novel store in Chula Vista would be a great step in the right direction for the city. Alongside the discount grocery store, in the shopping area called, “Gateway Marketplace,” it looks like a Hobby Lobby (another new type of retail business for the city) is planned.