Business: Aldi making the next move in local grocery wars. Rome store will grow — but close briefly as well.

Business: Aldi making the next move in local grocery wars. Rome store will grow — but close briefly as well.

The Aldi store on Turner McCall Boulevard in Rome on Wednesday evening. Hometown photo.

 

Greater Rome’s grocery wars are escalating.

A relative newcomer, Aldi at 836 Turner McCall Blvd., is preparing to expand a bit. The move is interesting as the store opened just a few years ago, late August 2014, with sister stores since completed in Cartersville and Calhoun.

Aldi is expected to remodel and expand the Rome store in coming months. While they’re still finalizing the details, upgrades are scheduled to be completed this summer, says ALDI Jefferson (Ga.) Division Vice President Shaun O’Keefe.  Once remodeled, the store will have approximately 18,817 square feet with five aisles and 11,404 square feet of sales floor space.

“The Rome store and all new and remodeled Aldi stores offer a modern and convenient layout that focuses on what people love most: fresh food, produce, dairy and baked goods. Aldi story also feature open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials,” says O’Keefe.

Employees at our store in Rome will continue to work at this location until we temporarily close for construction, and will start again once the store reopens,O’Keefe says. During this timeframe, employees will have the opportunity to work at other Aldi stores in the area, he says.

The project’s value is estimated at $300,000, according to construction bidding sites.

It’s the latest move in what is becoming a major battle among grocers with some casualties along the way.

The new year started with the closing of West Rome IGA, just up Shorter Avenue from the projected home of another German-based discount grocer, Lidl. The status of that store remains in limbo as the strip center it was to anchor has changed a good bit of its marketing paraphernalia. Lidl’s parent company continues to build a massive warehouse off I-75 in Bartow County, however.

Kroger, itself not that far removed from a 33 percent jump in square footage in Rome, is taking a different approach. The “ClickList” service that lets you order online and pick it up hours later in a designated parking spot is under way in Rome (it had a successful debut at the Kroger Marketplace in Cartersville as well). How well received is ClickList? The only pickup time available for an order place early Saturday was 6 p.m. Super Bowl Sunday — 30 minutes before kickoff. That’s something of an anomaly as local grocers were packed to near-holiday levels last weekend.

Kroger also is introducing a “scan and go” option for shoppers later this year where you scan the groceries as they go into your cart and you pay on the way out.

Publix and the Walmarts in East and West Rome continue to take their share of the grocery dollar as do Food Lion in Armuchee and Piggly Wiggly in Lindale. Smaller options, such as Dollar General, are in the game as shown by the company’s plans to add more room as it builds a new North Rome location due by mid spring.

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