Aldi, a discount grocery store chain, that operates more than 1,000 stores in 31 states, will open nine locations in Houston with plans for 30 stores here by the end of 2014.
Local 2 consumer expert Amy Davis got a sneak peek inside the store that touts its low prices and no-frills approach, and talked to shoppers outside the Aldi on Mason Road.
Curious cost-conscious customers lined up outside the Aldi's on Mason Road just to look around and sample some of Aldi's exclusive brands. It was just enough to get shoppers excited.
"I almost want to ask if this is just for show and they're gonna change that later because the pricing seems to be so good," said Michele McDaniel.
"Prices are a lot better here than you see at the typical box stores," said customer Clint Fogie.
Some of the prices that Local 2’s consumer expert found were: a gallon of milk for $1.89, strawberries for 99 cents a pint, mangos at 39 cents each, and avocados at 29 cents each.
"I was amazed at the prices on the lawn furniture and everything like that," said shopper Barbara Carlton. "It’s not only groceries, you can get everything here."
Aldi does sell some name brands, like Tyson, Jennie-O and Pringles, but 98 percent of the products are Aldi exclusive store brands. For consumers who are skeptical about trying their products, Aldi has a double guarantee.
"If somebody were to come in and not like a product for whatever reason, we're gonna give you another product and your money back," said Aldi Vice President Scott Huska.
Huska said Aldi keeps prices low by being efficient. Most stores have only five aisles and about 10,000 square feet, compared to 60,000 square feet for most traditional grocers or big box stores.
"We don't have a bank inside our stores," said Huska. "We don't have a dry cleaner. The building is small. It's a quick efficient process for the customer, and that helps us to keep our costs down."
When shoppers get to the check-out, that's where the no-frills part kicks in. They have to bag their own groceries in a bag they've brought with them, or bags are available for purchase at 10 cents each. Aldi does not take credit cards, so shoppers have to pay with cash or debit cards.
Below is a list of official ribbon cuttings and open houses at Houston locations.
10:45 a.m., Monday, April 8
- 2009 South Mason Rd., Katy, TX 77450
- 11510 Broadway, Pearland, TX 77584
- 2302 FM 2920 Rd., Spring, TX 77388
10:45 a.m., Tuesday, April 9
- 10402 Hwy. 6 South, Sugar Land, TX 77498
- 6900 FM 1960 East, Humble, TX 77346
- 5930 Fry Rd., Katy, TX 77449
10:45 a.m., Wednesday, April 10
- 2045 N. Loop 336, Conroe, TX 77304
- 13340 Tomball Pkwy., Houston, TX 77086
- 4140 Fairmont Pkwy., Pasadena, TX 77504
The stores are open for business the day after the ribbon cutting ceremony.