Arizona residents awaiting Aldi’s state debut may have to hold out a bit longer than anticipated.
Although initial reports indicated the discounter could open its first unit in Arizona as soon as this quarter, sources now say they don’t expect an arrival until mid-year. Anne De Chance, communications manager for the city of Buckeye, Ariz., where Aldi is building a unit that many expect will be its first to open in the state, said she anticipates the store could open the second or third quarter of this year, contingent on the completion of the retailer’s distribution center in Goodyear, Ariz.
With a mission to become the third-largest grocer (behind Walmart Inc. and the Kroger Co.) by store count, with more than 2,500 stores by 2022, Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi is targeting expansion into more suburban middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods, including Phoenix metro locations. The company is working with cities and developers to secure building permits, though it has not officially announced any Arizona locations.
Buckeye was among the first cities confirmed to receive an Aldi store. Located in a shopping center at the intersection of West Yuma and South Watson roads, adjacent to a Walmart Supercenter and Fry’s Marketplace, the store plan has been approved by the city and the building is ready to issue permits, according to De Chance. Construction of the shopping center is underway, but “the interior construction has not started yet, pending the timing of the opening of their distribution center in Goodyear,” she said.
In 2017, Aldi purchased 69 acres of land in Goodyear, Ariz., to house a 600,000-square-foot distribution center and the company’s regional offices, according to ABC15 Arizona, with construction scheduled for this year. Officials from the city of Goodyear were not immediately available for comment.
Additional cities reportedly planned for Aldi locations, according to data from Planned Grocery, include Phoenix, Tempe, Peoria, Glendale, Chandler and Gilbert.