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Aldi will have remodeled more than 40 Florida stores by the end of October

Lauren Winfree, 36, left, shops for grocery items with her kids Morgan, 2, center, and Emmitt, 4, at the Aldi store located on 1551 34th St N, St. Petersburg, Florida on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. "They have a good selection of dark chocolates and organic foods," said Winfree. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
Published Oct. 1, 2018

After two years of work, more than 40 Aldi stores in Florida will have been remodeled by the end of the month, the discount grocer said Monday.

Aldi began renovating stores nationwide in 2016 and planned to spend $115 million upgrading 83 of its Florida locations by the end of 2020.

As the brand refreshes its look, store leaders say they're also aiming for at least 20 percent of Aldi's offerings to be organic and fresh by expanding its product lines.

"With this investment in our Florida stores what we're really doing is investing in Aldi customers," Matt Thon, the Haines City division vice president, said in a statement. "We look forward to giving people who already know and love Aldi — as well as new fans — an even smarter, faster and easier grocery shopping experience."

The store's nationwide plan means more than 1,300 stores will be renovated by the end of 2020. The chain also is adding new stores. Company leaders said there will be 2,500 Aldi locations across the U.S. by the end of 2022.

Aldi has about 20 stores in the Tampa Bay area. Five stores in Brandon, Plant City, Oldsmar, Tampa and Largo have been remodeled. The updates to the Town N' Country location are still under construction.

Aldi's updated look is what shoppers see at the chain's new Sheldon Road location in Tampa's Citrus Park, which opened in March, and the one at 34th Street and 15th Avenue N in St. Petersburg, which opened last year.

The new and remodeled stores are brightly lit with open ceilings. Large signs point out fresh food, dairy and baked goods.

In recent months, shoppers have been able to pick up a growing number of Aldi's Earth Organic items: vegan cheese, dairy-free ice cream and meatless burgers.

Review: This is what it's like shopping at Aldi

Aldi says the renovations make room for more new and in-demand products such as kombucha, veggie noodles, gluten-free bagels, and kale-and-quinoa-crunch burgers.

Aldi is known for a streamlined shopping experience. The bulk of its items are under private labels. It sometimes offers name brands at discounts — though those items come in as Aldi is able to get them and are not always in stock.

The store doesn't accept coupons. It keeps prices low by cutting costs elsewhere — no free shopping bags and shoppers bag their own groceries at checkout.

Aldi has more than 1,800 Aldi stores in 35 states. Its $5 billion expansion plan would make it the third-largest food retailer behind Walmart and Kroger.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com.

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