Discount grocery store chain Aldi will celebrate its first opening in Wilmington, at 7954 Market St., on June 22, the company announced Thursday.
Aldi is among several chains with plans for the Wilmington area, including multiple locations. An Aldi store is under construction at 3701 S. College Road, and another is planned for Leland. The company held a hiring event this week for the Market Street store.
Aldi competitor Lidl, a chain founded in Germany, announced this week that the company plans to open 20 grocery stores in South Carolina, Virginia and elsewhere in North Carolina this summer, but a Lidl spokesman didn't have an exact date for the opening of any Wilmington-area Lidl stores. One is under construction on South 17th Street and another has been planned on Eastwood Road, and those locations could be open by next year.
A Lidl news release said that by summer 2018, "Lidl plans to open up to 100 stores across the East Coast, creating a total of 5,000 U.S. jobs."
A Lidl is also expected to open in the future in Leland.
Brendan Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl US, in the release highlighted Lidl's sustainable products, including certified fresh and frozen seafood, and "top-quality wines from around the world" as something that will set Lidl apart.
To celebrate the opening of the Aldi on Market Street, in Porters Neck in front of the Marsh Oaks subdivision, the store will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:25 a.m. June 22 that the public is invited to attend. Following the ceremony, the first 100 customers will receive golden tickets, each containing Aldi gift cards of various amounts, according to an Aldi news release.
Chris Daniels, division vice president for Aldi, said the store will have "high-quality products and everyday low prices."
The release said Aldi saves customers money by cutting overhead costs through practices such as its cart system -- shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart from a corral and receive the quarter back upon the cart’s return.
"Other cost-saving practices include a smaller store footprint, open carton displays and encouraging customers to bring their own shopping bags," the release said.
The new Wilmington location will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Aldi is in the midst of an accelerated growth plan, and by the end of 2018, there will be nearly 2,000 Aldi stores from coast to coast in the U.S., according to the news release.
Large chains outside of Lidl and Aldi have also picked the Cape Fear region as an area of growth, including Publix. The Publix Super Market at Pine Valley, 716 Bragg Drive in Wilmington, opened last summer, and an Ogden Publix has been scheduled to open at the end of this year, according to a 2016 email from a Publix spokeswoman. A Publix in Surf City could be open by next year, a December news release said.
In Wilmington, a 76,000-square-foot Harris Teeter planned on Carolina Beach Road
could be open by 2019.