Aldi discount grocery opening attracts big crowd in Alcoa

Aldi discount grocery opening attracts big crowd in Alcoa

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There was a line outside the store even before it opened. There was a line outside the store even before it opened.
Nearly 500 shoppers packed into the store in two hours. Nearly 500 shoppers packed into the store in two hours.

By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - There are more than 1,100 Aldi discount grocery stores across the U.S. and on Friday one opened in Alcoa.

Aldi held its grand opening at 836 Louisville Road. There was a line outside the store even before it opened. "I think I was shocked with the parking lot," said shopper Melissa Lonas.

"We decided to open the store an hour early," said Aldi Vice President Troy Marshall. "Excitement would be an understatement. My cup of joy is overflowing right now so this is terrific."

Nearly 500 shoppers packed into the store in two hours looking for low prices on everything from produce to pots and pans.

You won't find most brand name products in the store, but Aldi says the quality is the same with prices more than 40% below traditional grocery stores.

Some of the best deals Friday morning were on carrots and a dozen eggs, each selling for 49 cents. Another popular buy was corn flakes at $1.29.

"We're on our fourth child right now so anything helps to try to save money these days," Lonas said,.

Despite the bargains, Ernie Fortin said, "No it wasn't worth it. It's too many people. You can't really move around in here."

"It's crazy. Hopefully in a week or so it won't be too bad," Lonas said.

However, everyone who spoke with 6 News Friday says they're impressed with the bargains and they will come back again.

Aldi says its lower prices are possible for several reasons. The chain doesn't advertise its products for one thing.

Shoppers borrow a cart by putting a quarter into a machine. When they bring the cart back, the quarter is automatically returned.

Grocery bags are available for purchase, but most shoppers opt to bring their own bags, another way Aldi cuts costs.

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