coronavirus pandemic

Budget Grocery Stores Open as San Diegans Look to Save Money

NBC 7 Responds looked at why new grocery stores say now is a good time to open up

NBC Universal, Inc.

Fewer businesses are opening as the country still battles the coronavirus pandemic. Today, however, Poway has a new grocery store. Aldi opened its 10th location in San Diego County, and shoppers said they are there for the deals.

"The quality is good and the prices are cheaper," shopper Cindy Hertel said.

Aldi is a German-based grocery chain that opened its first location in the county four years ago. It's smaller than your average grocery store, about the size of a Trader Joe's.

"I came here to see the store," Vicky Walton said. "I told my daughter, 'Let's go check it out!' "

Walton said it's good to see another discount grocery store opening its doors.

"Especially when people have lost their jobs and they have a hard time," Walton said.

Many items on Aldi's shelves are their own house brand. They're targeting people who are looking for deals and don't mind having fewer options.

"The Aldi's of the world, they don't carry as many items as a Vons or Ralphs," said SDSU marketing professor Miro Copic. "[People] are looking at places to stretch that dollar where they have one, and Aldi is well-positioned right now for that."

One of Aldi's top-selling sections is produce, followed by wine and then specialty items. It says it focuses on selling core staples like meat, cheese, eggs and bread.

Aldi plans to open an 11th store in the county in the spring as it tries to meet its goal of being the third-largest grocery chain in America. Copic said, even though discount stores are opening more locations, traditional grocers are not very worried.

"Aldi will certainly be successful as people check it out," Copic said. "At least at this point, consumers are going to be less inclined to abandon their traditional grocer if they don't have to."

Shoppers at Aldi's told us they choose to shop there to save money.

"We're all having to budget more," Karyl Poppe said. "When you get more bang for your buck, that's where I have to go."

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