Aldi stores are getting a $5.3 billion update — and the result is almost unrecognizable

Aldi has a new look.

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Aldi has a new look.
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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

  • Aldi is spending $5.3 billion to build 800 new stores and remodel existing locations.
  • I toured one of the newly remodeled stores, and it was a vastly different shopping experience from the older stores.
  • The biggest changes were in the fresh department, which was larger and offered a greater variety of organic produce.

Aldi is halfway through its $5.3 billion plan to build 800 new stores in the United States and update hundreds of existing locations.

I toured a newly remodeled store in St. Charles, Illinois, this week, and it was nearly unrecognizable.

Here’s what the new store looks like, compared to a couple of older stores in Richmond, Virginia:


Aldi’s new and remodeled stores feature 20% more shopping space than the older stores. This newly remodeled store is 12,000 square feet.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Beige tiled floors helped brighten the interior of the store, along with additional lighting fixtures on the walls.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

New, back-lit signs added color to the walls.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

By comparison, the aisles in an older store I visited in 2015 were darker and shorter, and they featured gray flooring.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

The new design, on the other hand, added more refrigerated space across the store, with new sleek signage featuring white text against a black backdrop.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

In an older store I visited in Richmond, Virginia, this week, the refrigerated space was limited and lacked signage.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

The biggest, most obvious change in the new store was the fresh department, which featured perishable goods like produce and dairy.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

In one of the older stores I visited, fresh produce was largely limited to this small, center-aisle fixture.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Few organic items were available, and most of the goods were packaged or bagged.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Aldi’s new stores now feature a much more extensive selection of fruits and vegetables.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

This new store also featured a large selection of refrigerated produce.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, and broccoli were among the vegetables for sale.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Many of the items were bagged.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

But the store now also offers a number of loose produce items, such as tomatoes and avocados.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

In addition to the physical changes that Aldi is making to its stores, the company is now embarking on its biggest product refresh in history by adding more fresh, organic, vegetarian, and vegan items to its US stores.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

In the new store, I found a huge increase in the number of organic items available.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Avocados, blueberries, strawberries, and broccoli were among the many organic goods for sale. Aldi is growing the number of organic goods it carries as it increasingly builds more stores in more affluent areas.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Once the product rollout is complete in early 2019, about 20% of the items in Aldi stores will be new, the company said.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

The new additions will also grow Aldi’s fresh food offering by more than 40%, according to the company.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Some of the new items include veggie noodles, organic chicken breasts, and pre-marinated meats …

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… along with sliced fruits …

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

… and grab-and-go items such as single-serve guacamole and hummus, salad bowls, and quinoa bowls.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

More than 90% of the products in Aldi stores are private-label, but some national brands are scattered throughout.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Aldi’s large percentage of private-label goods help the company keep costs low.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Aldi also saves money by displaying products in the boxes in which they were shipped. This cuts down on the amount of time employees spend stocking shelves, which in turn saves labor costs.

Aldi has a new look.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Overall, the newly remodeled Aldi store was brighter and bigger with far more to offer in the fresh department compared to the older stores.

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Business Insider/Hayley Peterson