NEW YORK — Aldi on Thursday opened its doors in New York City for the first time, introducing its brand of limited-assortment discount to one of the densest markets in the U.S.
"We have very high expectations for this store," Bruce Pehrson, divisional vice president for Aldi, said at a preview event at the store in the Rego Park section of Queens on Thursday. "We have the opportunity to serve more than 100,000 people within a mile and a half radius. That exceeds our typical demographics by at least three times."
The store, which officially opens for business Friday, is one of three new stores targeted for the New York metro area during 2011, said Pehrson, who oversees Aldi’s Northeast region. Stores in the Bronx, N.Y., and in Bay Shore, N.Y., are also expected to open before year-end, he said, with additional stores in the metro area, including locations in Brooklyn, on the radar for 2012. Aldi, based in Batavia, Ill., plans around 81 new stores in the U.S. this year, officials said.
Located in the Rego Center, a new urban power center complex which also includes Costco, Century 21, Kohl’s and Sears, the new Aldi maintains its standard store floorplan and merchandise assortment, but it includes 14 checkout stands to meet expected volume. Typical Aldi stores have five checkouts.
"How much business we can do here we hope is up to how efficient we can make the front end," said Jason Hart, Aldi’s co-president. "We don’t have an experience with a store in this dense of a market, but we have huge expectations."