HOLIDAY — Folks in search of grocery bargains have another reason to rejoice.
Aldi, the discount chain that uses a no-frills model to keep prices low, plans to open a 16,300-square-foot store at U.S. 19 and Sunray Drive, according to plans submitted to Pasco County.
The store will be the second Aldi to be built on U.S. 19 in Pasco. In 2010, the chain opened a store on the highway in front of the Hollywood 18 movie theater.
Executives say the chain's prices run about 18 percent lower than big-box stores and 35 percent lower than traditional supermarkets.
Aldi says it keeps prices low by reducing overhead costs. The company uses a cart deposit system in which shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and get the quarter back upon the cart's return. Other cost-saving practices include a smaller store footprint and open carton displays.
Customers are also expected to bring their own shopping bags. The store only accepts cash, debit cards and food stamp swipe cards — no credit cards. The chain also has few sales, instead preferring to keep the same prices year-round on its 1,400 items.
The latest announcement is another shot in the arm for the U.S. 19 corridor, which in recent years has seen anchor stores such as Target and Sam Seltzer's steak house close. Recently, J.C. Penney executives announced plans to close its "underperforming" store at Gulf View Square. However, the opening of H.H. Gregg and Burlington Coat Factory near Gulf View provided a boost.
Visit www.aldi.us for more information about Aldi.