German grocery giant Aldi is set to purchase a pair of U.S. supermarket chains.
“Like Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the Southeast, and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” Aldi USA CEO Jason Hart said in a news release. “The time was right to build on our growth momentum and help residents in the Southeast save on their grocery bills.”
PYMNTS noted last year that Southeastern Groceries was considering a sale of Winn-Dixie following an aborted attempt to go public.
Hart added that the purchase supports Aldi’s U.S. growth strategy, which includes plans to add 120 stores in 2023 with the aim of having more than 2,400 stores nationwide by year’s end. The acquisition includes about 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The release said that Aldi has invested more than $2.5 billion in the American southeast, most recently with the opening of a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Alabama. The company plans to open 20 new Aldi locations in the area by the end of the year.
As it grows, it will have to contend with a wide swath of shoppers worried about high prices. Research by PYMNTS found that 83% of consumers consider price increases their top worry. It’s something grocers are noticing as shoppers stick to the basics or trade down.
“In terms of consumer sentiment, inflation is right up top as far as their concerns for the economy, so this still is a very significant issue for them,” Alex Weinstein, chief digital officer of online grocer Hungryroot, told PYMNTS in an interview last month.
Aldi earlier this year joined other grocery chains in slashing prices to avoid losing customers to discount retailers, announcing in June it was reducing the price of more than 250 products.
“We don’t want high grocery prices to get in the way of Americans doing what they love this summer, so we’re taking charge to champion value in a way that only Aldi can,” Aldi U.S. Co-President Dave Rinaldo said in a statement. “We’re reducing our already low prices on some of the season’s most popular items to make sure summer plans aren’t disrupted.”