Aldi expanding in Texas
Denton, Texas Select assortment discount grocer Aldi will open its first 11 Texas stores throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex area on March 18.
Aldi will open a total of 27 North Texas stores this spring. Following the first 11 stores opening in March, another nine stores will open in April and an additional seven in May.
“There’s no better time than now for great prices, good jobs and a lasting community investment,” said Scott Huska, Aldi Denton division VP. “Whether shoppers need to stretch a budget or simply choose to have more money to spend on other things, North Texans can count on Aldi for high-quality select brands at prices no one else can touch.”
Aldi will have invested more than $150 million in capital expenditures in the Texas market. The grocer’s regional investment includes its approximately $50 million, 500,000-sq.-ft. Denton distribution center that employs about 75 local residents.
In addition to partnering with local Texas suppliers, Aldi has brought more than 400 new jobs to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex area in the last year, offering benefits and compensation above the industry standard. Aldi employees who work at least 20 hours weekly receive full benefits (including medical, dental and vision insurance, plus 401k).
Aldi is launching its first Texas stores during a time of high consumer demand that has driven significant growth for the grocer, including a total of 100 new U.S. stores this year.
A perfect storm for shoplifters
Retailers are fortunate the majority of customers are honest and choose to pay for the items they need and want. However, even the most well intentioned shoppers can succumb to the allure of theft when their moral compass is exposed to the polarizing forces of a recessionary economy and a retail environment where the perceived risk of apprehension is low due to thinly staffed stores. As a result, retail theft characterized as amateur or opportunistic is on the rise, according to 78% of retailers responding to a survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). While amateur and opportunistic thieves are more active, all types of theft have increased, with 74% of retailers reporting seeing an increase of stolen items found in online marketplaces, and 65% reporting increased theft by organized groups.
A rebound awaits in key categories
Target is the beneficiary of a perceived quality gap relative to Walmart, and that typically helps it in head-to-head comparisons where such categories as apparel and home are concerned. Unfortunately, consumer decision-making is seldom so linear, and Target has a slew of other retailers against whom it must compete, and recent sales results suggest it has work to do. Target has reported weak (flat or declining) results for its apparel and home categories and did so again in February. However, such companies as TJX, Ross and Kohl’s, which appeal to the same value-oriented shoppers as Target, produced solid gains. TJX said its February same-store sales increased 10%, Ross produced an 11% increase and Kohl’s was up 3.7%. Also producing gains were such competitors as Nordstrom, Macy’s and JCPenney, which serve customers squarely in the crosshairs of Target’s “expect more, pay less” value proposition. Macy’s reported a better-than-expected increase of 3.7%, and Nordstrom topped analysts’ views with a 10.3% increase. JCPenney’s same-store sales rose 1.2%, which was also better than expected.