German supermarket chain Aldi is getting closer and the heart of Houston, as it opened its 25th store today on Bissonnet and Beechnut with typical fanfare—a ribbon cutting, giveaways and, in Aldi tradition, ridiculously low specials on groceries.
The budget chain is known for its low prices, propped up by cost-cutting measures such as having customers bag their own groceries, (customers either have to bring their own bags or pay for one) and 25 cent cart rentals—but don’t worry, you get your quarter back if you return the cart. Don’t come looking for your favorite name brand, either; like Trader Joe's, the German chain sells almost exclusively its own Aldi-brand goods.
“We don’t believe in hiding the cost of those things across all the products,” said Aldi Rosenberg division vice president Karla Waddleton. “We also have a unique buying power. We’re able to consolidate our buying power and really be stringent on [extraneous costs] in order to ensure we’ve got excellent quality at the right price point.”
Aldi’s opening included giveaways that got one lucky winner free produce for a year, while the first 100 customers in line at the 9 a.m. opening all received a “golden ticket,” or a $100 voucher. They also offered product samples and a free “eco-friendly bag,” as well as $5 coupons and even lower prices than usual, with milk at $1.49 a gallon and eggs at 69 cents a dozen.
The chain isn’t stopping on Bissonnet, though. Waddleton says there are plans for 32 stores open in the greater Houston area, with 10 to 12 more by next year, so “all customers” can access Aldi. Waddleton said Houston's increasingly dense population makes our city a great market for the newest Aldi.
“[The area] reflects our customer base,” Waddleton said. “When you have that much population concentrated in one area, it’s exciting to have them experience what Aldi has to offer.”