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March 27, 2015

ALDI to reopen 30 former Bottom Dollar stores, including five in Philly

While five of the nine stores in Philadelphia will reopen, Chester's will not

Business Grocery Stores
Bottom Dollar Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

ALDI announced that it is reopening 30 former Bottom Dollar locations, including five in Philadelphia. The Chester location, pictured above, is one of 36 sites that are slated for sale, sublease or assignment.

ALDI announced Friday that it plans to reopen 30 former Bottom Dollar stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including five Philadelphia locations. 

The five Philadelphia locations include one in Brewerytown, which opened as a Bottom Dollar with much fanfare in November 2012. Brewerytown had gone years without a grocery store, limiting convenient access to food in the low-income neighborhood. 

However, ALDI is not reopening 36 locations, including one in Chester, which also had gone years without a commercial grocery store. Those sites, including four in Philadelphia, will be evaluated for sale or sublease. 

ALDI announced its intentions for the 66 store locations as it completed its months-long purchase of the Bottom Dollar Food markets from the Belgian-based Delhaize Group. ALDI, a discount grocer, had kept mum on the site plans since the sale was announced in November.

“While we are excited to pursue opening ALDI stores at 30 of these locations, we will continue working with those communities where we will not be using the sites to ensure a smooth transition,” CEO Jason Hart said in a statement.

Charles Holliday, community liaison for the Greater Brewerytown Community Development Corp., said he is "ecstatic" that ALDI is reopening the Brewerytown store. He said the Girard Avenue corridor is becoming "alive again," noting various developments taking place in Brewerytown.

Since Bottom Dollar closed in January, Holliday and other Brewerytown residents have been forced to get their groceries elsewhere.

"I realized that I was spoiled by Bottom Dollar," Holliday said. "I believe the same prices will be at ALDI. We're looking at prices. We're looking at quality. We're looking at service.

"We're ecstatic that it's coming and we can't wait."

Chester Mayor John Linder said he was surprised ALDI did not reopen the city's former Bottom Dollar grocery store, which opened last June. He said the Edgmont Avenue site sits on a "good, marketable location" neighboring Widener University.

"We're disappointed that ALDI is not going to come in," Linder said. "They essentially took a store from us and don't want to replace it. Again, that's a corporate decision. I just don't see why. We're marketable at this place and Bottom Dollar was on its way to becoming successful at that location."

Chester lacked a supermarket for years before Philabundance opened Fair & Square, a nonprofit grocery store located on the city's west end, in September 2013. Bottom Dollar, located on the east side, opened nine months later, giving Chester its first commercial grocery store since 2001.

The five Philadelphia sites that will reopen are located at 6119 N. Broad St., 3975 Castor Ave., 3101 W. Girard Ave., 9303 Krewstown Road and 7900 Roosevelt Blvd.

The four Philly sites that will not reopen are located at 6301 Chew Ave., 901 W. Girard Ave., 3000 Grays Ferry Ave. and 7627 Lindbergh Blvd.

Earlier this month, ALDI held a hiring event for 25 manager trainees, a move that hinted toward the reopening of several of the Bottom Dollar locations, which closed in January.

In December 2013, ALDI announced its intentions to open 650 new stores by the end of 2018, expanding its brand to nearly 2,000 stores nationwide.