Update: As of mid-April 2015 the work is now underway on the ALDI store. We stopped by the scene and our video is at bottom of this message.
Aldi Food Market, a grocery store, looks like it’s coming to West Boca. We had been puzzled about the size of the incoming Hobby Lobby, slated for 52,000 square feet but replacing the 78,000 square foot Beall’s in West Boca Square. What would happen to the other 26,000 square feet?
We think we have our answer now. Aldi will be moving into the southern end of the building where the doors face Chili’s.
West Boca Square is on the northwest corner of the intersection of West Palmetto Park Road and US-441 (State Road 7).
We heard it from a source we consider very reliable and saw evidence consistent with what the source told us. We contacted Aldi via Twitter to check and they would neither confirm nor deny it:
— ALDI USA (@AldiUSA) May 29, 2014
Here’s a map with the existing grocery stores in green boxes and the new ones in red boxes:
With the reopening of the West Boca Walmart (including groceries) on the opposite corner, we estimate the two together will add over 40,000 square feet of grocery space to the area. That’s a 20% increase on what’s already in place.
Aldi, a chain based in Germany, first arrived in Florida in 2010 per the Sun-Sentinel. Like Walmart, they’ve positioned themselves as a discounter claiming low prices, but not carrying as many items as some other groceries. This will put significant price pressure on most of the competition, and West Boca residents should expect to save a few pennies.
Aldi stores are also typically smaller than other supermarkets. As the image above shows, Fresh Market in Mission Bay is the only grocery store smaller than the incoming Aldi. Fresh Market is also the only one of the stores that does not position itself primarily on price, but rather is considered a “gourmet supermarket” with higher end products.
There are other important differences in how Aldi works.
1. They don’t take credit cards – only cash, debit cards and EBT (welfare) cards.
2. You have to put a quarter in to get a cart, and you get it back when you return the cart.
3. Bags aren’t free. Bring your own or prepare to pay for them.
4. Fewer choices – They have a much smaller inventory with only 1400 items vs. 30,000 for a typical supermarket, and a lot of their own Aldi brands that they claim are better quality than national brands.
The promise behind all of these details is claimed lower prices. If you believe what they’re saying, you’ll save as much as 50% on your groceries. This could get interesting.
Video from April 10, 2015: