ALDI grocery store opens in Escanaba

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press Local dignitaries and ALDI, Inc. representatives cut a ribbon during the grand opening ceremony for the new ALDI grocery store in Escanaba this morning. The Escanaba location of the grocery store chain is the first to open its doors in the Upper Peninsula. Shown in front from left are, ALDI District Manager Bob Best, ALDI employees Nina Kidd, Katie Whitmer, Brittany Judson, Cassie Franti, Escanaba ALDI Store Manager Avery Hendrickson, ALDI employees Stephanie Westerberg, Janice Schimmepenny, and Kim Paquette. Shown in back from left are Bay College representative Jill Martin, Escanaba City Council Member Mike Sattem, Publisher of the Daily Press Corky DeRoeck, Escanaba City Council Member Ralph Blaiser, and ALDI employee Julie Matecki.

ESCANABA — The first ALDI grocery store in the Upper Peninsula opened its doors this morning in Escanaba. A ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony was held at the new storefront, located at 2520 3rd Ave. N., to commemorate the occasion.

“We look forward to joining the Escanaba community and bringing Upper Peninsula residents access to high-quality groceries at affordable prices,” said Atty McGrath, Oak Creek division vice president of ALDI.

During the morning ceremony, local dignitaries and ALDI Inc. representatives cut the grand opening ribbon. Prizes and contests were available for the first customers at the store.

According to a press release, the Escanaba ALDI is part of a $3.4 billion investment plan the grocery store chain recently announced to expand its stores nationwide by the end of 2022. ALDI currently has 1,600 stores in 35 states serving more than 40 million customers each month.

The Escanaba store will span 12,000 feet, said McGrath, including five shopping aisles, like other ALDI locations. It will employ 15 people.

Along with grocery options, the store also sells a full line of baby products and ALDI Finds, which are premium food and household products that are in the store for a limited time.

“We know Escanaba residents are looking for a great value and quality groceries they love,” said McGrath.

According to ALDI officials, the store stresses being “eco-friendly,” as customers who come to ALDI are asked to bring reusable bags. Visitors to the store are also asked to pay a quarter to rent a cart to help “cut back on hidden costs and pass savings onto our customers.” Quarters are returned to customers when they return their carts to the store.

Another cost saving method is minimal hiring, explained McGrath.

“ALDI streamlines its approach to staffing, creating cost-saving efficiencies that are passed on to our customers,” said McGrath, adding each store, including the new Escanaba location, will employ about 15 people.

Escanaba’s location will present a new look that focuses on fresh items including more produce, dairy and bakery sections, said McGrath.

“The new Escanaba store will also feature a modern design, open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials such as recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting,” said McGrath.

Escanaba’s ALDI will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.