Discount grocery retailer Aldi opened at 9 a.m. Friday morning after a brief ceremonial ribbon cutting as around 50 customers waited outside in the cold. It is the fourth store to open in the Route 58 shopping center where Dick’s Sporting Goods, Five Below and Christmas Tree Shops is located. It is also the fourth store to open in Suffolk County of the privately held company, which came stateside in 1973 and has 1,300 store in 32 states.
The 18,000 square-foot store has five aisles which are open and bright with large signage and grocery items are stocked by case to make it more efficient. One of the aisles is stocked with non-grocery discount items which vice president Bruce Persohn called “here today gone tomorrow” sale items. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
District manager Matt Schapiro said that they are in the middle of a coast-to-coast expansion, locally with stores in Lake Grove, Lindenhurst and Bay Shore. They are currently eyeing a location in Patchogue based on customer response. “We look to locate where there is anybody who needs groceries and likes to save money is a great customer as far as I’m concerned.”
Bridget and Frank Sears of Houston flew up just for the opening. His parents live in Riverhead and they shop at some of the five Aldi stores at home. They said that they love the shopping experience and discounts of the grocery chain.