ALDI set to break ground for Owatonna grocery store - Owatonna MN: Owatonna Peoples Press

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ALDI set to break ground for Owatonna grocery store

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 7:00 pm | Updated: 8:48 pm, Fri Mar 15, 2013.

OWATONNA — After purchasing land in the city about four years ago, ALDI is set to build a supermarket to Owatonna.

Matt Lilla, division vice president for ALDI, said the company is hoping to break ground as soon as weather permits, and that the store will look similar to other ALDI locations.

“It’s going to be our prototype store,” Lilla said. “The size of those, right now, is roughly 17,000 square feet with a sales floor that is about 10,600 square feet.”

When shopping at ALDI, Lilla said as much as 90 percent of the brands customers are purchasing are exclusive to ALDI. Lilla said they are able to provide store exclusive brands in different varieties for a cheaper price than available at other grocery stores.

“It’s different than a generic brand,” Lilla said.

The store will be located on the northwest corner of the intersection of old Highway 14 and 24th Avenue NW on the city’s west side.

Lilla said the company is very excited about its store location in Owatonna, which will be near other retailers like Lowe’s, Kohl’s and Wal-Mart. He said that having other retailers in the area will help draw business to the new ALDI location.

“We think that is going to be a great location. It’s right near other grocery stores and other retailers,” Lilla said. “People will already be traveling to do their shopping.”

Lilla and officials with the City of Owatonna confirmed that ALDI isn’t looking for any special financing to build its new store.

Community Development Director Troy Klecker said it’s exciting to be adding another business to that area of town.

“Anytime we can get a new retail business, that’s only good for the whole community,” Klecker said. “That area, it’s kind of a large retail area for us. The more retail we can have there, the bigger draw it is for the whole area, so adding another retail store out there will just bring more people to that area. It should be positive for all the businesses out there.”

Once the weather permits the construction crews to break ground for the new building, which Lilla expected to be around late-April or early-May, it would take about six months to finish the construction of the new store. Lilla declined to comment on how much it would cost to bring the chain to Owatonna.

With a plan for a six-month construction calendar, the ALDI supermarket will be opening about the same time that the new Fareway supermarket is slated to open its doors. Fareway plans to open sometime in the fall.

Owatonna is just part of a continued growth for the ALDI brand. According to the company’s website, there are more than 1,000 ALDI stores spread across 31 states. Lilla said ALDI is the ninth largest grocery chain in the world, and that the company is projecting to add between four and eight stores every year for the foreseeable future.

“The company has been growing extremely quickly,” he said.

Lilla said the company acquired the land around 2009, and the decision was made to bring the brand to Owatonna because of the continued success it has seen in other areas. Lilla said the company is excited about bringing a location to Owatonna.

“It’s a great market to be a part of,” Lilla said. “We’re going into a really nice and developed retail area.”

Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on

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  • offleash posted at 9:07 am on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    offleash Posts: 520

    Most grocery stores have a wellness center. It's called the produce aisle.[beam]

  • itsmeuc posted at 2:35 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    itsmeuc Posts: 630

    Competition and lots of choices is a good thing for the consumer. It will keep all the above businesses on their toes to provide the best products, service, and prices. Guess I will just have to spread the wealth around--just as I do now. Each store has it's fortes, different specials, quality, etc.

  • itsmeuc posted at 2:10 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    itsmeuc Posts: 630

    Good to know. Thanks, Special Ed.

  • FbltGuy posted at 9:01 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    FbltGuy Posts: 254

    Okay...I'll ask the obvious (but as yet unasked) question - what on earth is Owatonna going to do with 5 separate full-scale food stores (Cash-Wise, Hy-Vee, Wal-Mart, and now Aldi and the other new store going in)? There cannot possibly be enough business to justify that many grocery stores. Or, are these new stores simply going to be willing to eat the inevitable losses until they manage to drive Hy-Vee and Cash-Wise out of business?

  • Special Ed posted at 8:03 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Special Ed Posts: 917

    A lot of Aldi's products are produced right here. Much of their ice cream is generically produced by Schwann's, their cereal produced in Northfield. Meat and dairy.... certainly not from China. Produce? Mostly local.
    Hang in there folks, we will be on par with China economically very soon. Wages, salaries and benefits have dropped to the point where our government can be as efficient and economically competitive as China too and then we can all get jobs making tennis shoes and space heaters...
    Aldi's is a good place and probably the best example you'll find of efficiency and their staff are paid quite well compared to the large stores.

  • Soitgoes posted at 6:31 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Soitgoes Posts: 732

    Cash Wise and Hy Vee offer alternatives. You just have to read the label.

  • itsmeuc posted at 12:44 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    itsmeuc Posts: 630

    Takesavillage, if this town ever got a decent wellness center, I would be too old and decrepit to ever get the opportunity to use it. Cheapest and best bet is West Hills--problem is I think that place is haunted...[rolleyes]

  • itsmeuc posted at 12:38 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    itsmeuc Posts: 630

    Yeah, might as well stay in town and buy those Chinese goodies.

  • Soitgoes posted at 8:56 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    Soitgoes Posts: 732

    Especially the stores whose primary products are all from China. It's why I don't drive to Faribault to shop at their ALDI.

  • Takesavillage posted at 8:17 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    Takesavillage Posts: 26

    Economic development is always encouraging. But I am still hoping we can get some sort of wellness center to balance out all of our grocery stores!

  • Soitgoes posted at 10:24 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    Soitgoes Posts: 732

    Trader Joe's PLEASE!


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