Batavia-based ALDI plans to expand its presence across the nation by opening 650 new grocery stores in the next five years, the company announced in a statement outlining a new growth strategy.
ALDI plans to open an average of 130 stores each year between 2014 and 2018 in an effort to operate 2,000 stores in the country within five years. Store openings are set to increase from the current pace of about 80 new locations a year.
The company plans to invest $3 billion in land, facilities and equipment in the expansion plan, which is expected to create 10,000 new jobs at the grocer's stores, warehouses and offices.
"We're ramping up our expansion plans to meet growing demand from ALDI customers across the country," Jason Hart, ALDI president, said in a written statement.
ALDI also is planning to introduce a SimplyNature line of natural and organic products to add to the 1,300 commonly purchased grocery items it sells.
The news comes as the Chicago-area grocery market is adjusting to Safeway's decision to close 72 Dominick's stores and leave the region. Stores that have not been sold to competitors such as Mariano's are set to close Dec. 28.
Based in Batavia at 1200 N. Kirk Road, ALDI has roughly 1,300 stores in 32 states and employs about 18,000 people. ALDI, known for its low-overhead approach, has been named the nation's low-price grocer three years in a row in consumer surveys conducted by Market Force Information, Inc.