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The Daily Tar Heel

First ALDI grocery store in Chapel Hill opens in Eastgate Crossing


Customers wait in line to shop at Aldi on opening day, Aug. 3 2022.

On Aug. 3, residents from Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the surrounding community made their way to shop at Chapel Hill's first ALDI at the Eastgate Crossing shopping center on East Franklin Street. 

With a focus on budget-friendly shopping, the German supermarket chain has opened 2,237 locations in the United States as of Aug. 11, including one store in Durham County.

The new location is ALDI’s only store in Orange County. ALDI is on track to add 150 new stores by the end of the year, according to a press release sent on Aug. 4.

While the Chapel Hill location is now open to the public, there will be a grand opening event on Thursday, Aug. 18. The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:45 a.m., said Krysta Cearley, the vice president at ALDI's Salisbury Division.

Cearley added that ALDI stores are designed to make grocery shopping a faster and easier process and said the company is committed to sustainability, affordability and quality.

“We’re excited to open our first ALDI store in Chapel Hill and introduce local customers to a new, more affordable way of shopping,” she said.

Several shoppers who came to the store when it first opened were enthusiastic to see the store for the first time.

“One of my friends is a big ALDI fan, and she got really excited," shopper Heather Tafoya said. "I just dropped my kid off at daycare, so I wanted to come see it."

Serena Hutcheson said that she had just left her pilates class and decided she wanted to check out the store.

“I sometimes go to the one out by (the Streets at Southpoint), but it’s too inconvenient — and I figured that since it was the first minutes that the store was opening, I wanted to see it,” she said.

Many shoppers said they appreciated the affordability and quality of ALDI. Another shopper, Deborah Santesson, said she wanted to come to the opening to see if there were any good deals.

“I think it’ll give us more opportunities, more options, as far as saving money on groceries,” Santesson said.

Tafoya, who said she goes to ALDI once or twice a year, said she believes the location will benefit people who cannot afford to shop at pricier stores, such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter.

She also said she appreciates ALDI encouraging people to bring their own grocery bags to the store. ALDI plans to eliminate all plastic shopping bags by the end of 2023, according to the press release.

Others said they liked the convenience of the new location. UNC student and ALDI shopper Holly Hutcheson, who was with her mother Serena at the opening, said she had previously used Instacart to order groceries from ALDI in Durham.

“We were talking to a man from Chapel Hill in line, and he was like, ‘It’s walkable, I can walk here now. It’s great — cheaper, more accessible',” Holly Hutcheson said.

Crystal Mitchell, who also visited the new location on the morning of Aug. 3, said she is glad she doesn’t have to drive to Durham anymore to go to ALDI. After all, she added, ALDI is her favorite store, one that she believes will benefit the community tremendously.

“It’s a happier, healthier place to shop, and the prices are reasonable,” she said. “Even with inflation, I know they’re going up, but they’re still affordable.”


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