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Discount grocer Aldi to open supermarket in Shirley

The German discount grocer currently has eight stores

The German discount grocer currently has eight stores on Long Island. Credit: Howard Simmons

Aldi’s plan to open about 100 new stores this year includes one slated for Shirley.

The German discount grocer, which has eight stores on Long Island, has continued its local push into new communities since opening its first store on the Island in 2011.

The fast-growing chain opened 100 stores last year, and this year’s planned addition of about 100 more stores will focus on Arizona, California, Florida and the Northeast, the company said.

"As a part of this expansion, we intend to open more than 20 new stores across the Northeast, including new stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. We are also excited to share that this includes one new Long Island ALDI store opening in Shirley, New York," Chris Daniels, ALDI South Windsor Division vice president, said in a statement.

Aldi declined to provide more details about the planned Shirley store, including when exactly it will open.

That store will be in Floyd Harbor Retail Center, at 855 Montauk Hwy.

The shopping center is owned by Damianos Realty Group, a Smithtown-based commercial real estate company that could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Brookhaven Planning Board granted site plan approval for a 23,788-square-foot Aldi in Shirley on Dec. 7, town spokesman Jack Krieger said. The project is now awaiting building permits, he said.

Aldi has more than 2,000 stores across 37 states.

The chain is a limited-assortment grocer, like Lidl and Trader Joe’s, which are smaller and carry fewer items than traditional grocery stores. Limited-assortment stores also carry a high percentage of their own private-label brands.

Aldi’s high-value offerings were already helping it to grow quickly and branch into higher-income areas, and that growth is being propelled further because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a grocery expert said.

"They’re particularly well positioned to serve shoppers who have been hit by the challenging economy due to the pandemic. They provide the best values in the country," said Jon Hauptman, senior director of Inmar Intelligence, a retail industry analytics company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Nationwide, Aldi is the fourth-largest supermarket chain by store count and the 16th largest by sales, he said.

But on Long Island, Aldi’s market share doesn’t crack the top 10 among supermarkets or the top 20 among all grocery sellers, including drugstores and warehouse clubs, according to a June report from Food Trade News, a Columbia, Maryland-based publication.

Aldi is looking to change that.

The chain opened two Long Island stores last year — in North Babylon in August and at Green Acres Commons in Valley Stream in February.

The Valley Stream store was Aldi’s first in Nassau County.

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