Area ripe for grocery market, job opportunities

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ALDI, Bottom Dollar, Giant Eagle, Save-A-Lot, Shop ‘n Save and Walmart all claim to provide their customers with low prices and high quality food products. But according to Brent Laubaugh, vice president of ALDI stores his company offers a 20 to 25 percent saving compared to some of the other area food chains. “ALDI was founded on the belief that people, wherever they live, should have the opportunity to buy everyday groceries of the highest quality at the lowest possible prices,” he said.

HiringEvents
HIRING EVENTS—ALDI recently hosted a series of hiring events to fill 30 positions at its Pittsburgh-area stores. Available positions include cashiers, shift managers and store manager trainees. Shown filling out applications are, Front row, from left: Javanna Gethers of Highland Park and Kayla Young of the East Side. Back row, from left: Kevelle Caldwell of the South Side and Kyara Thrasher of Lincoln Larimer. (Photos by J. L. Martello)

Excited about the progress his company is making, Laubaugh said he is pleased that two more ALDI stores will be opened in the Pittsburgh market within the next six months. East Carson Street in the South Side and Baum Boulevard in Shady Side are on target to open in late October 2012 and early 2013. This will total close to 25 ALDI stores within the region.

With the newest stores located directly in the city of Pittsburgh proper, Laubaugh said the South Side and Shady Side stores are close to communities where the shoppers are, like Bloomfield, Friendship and East Liberty. “We will be assessable to the neighborhoods,” he emphasized. He also indicated that they will be more in the mix with their competitors. “Known for our premium ALDI select brands, ALDI is able to offer high-quality grocery items at unbeatable prices and we are glad to be here,” he said.

Unique to most of its facilities, the Shady Side store, located in the 5600 block of Baum Boulevard will have a two floor garage with the store located on the street level.

Considered a top 25 U.S. food retailer, Laubaugh explained that ALDI’s offers more than 1,400 of the most frequently purchased items sold under ALDI select brands which include fresh produce, the best cuts of meat, frozen foods, dairy products, pantry items, snacks and sweets, bakery items and beverages.

“We eliminate overhead costs by posing smart, efficient practices, such as a smaller store footprint, open carton displays, by encouraging customers to bring their own shopping bags and by keeping stores open only during prime shopping times,” he said. ALDI also uses a cart deposit system, through which shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and receive the quarter back upon the cart’s return. When you shop at ALDI, you pay for food; not frills are their policy.

Technology also plays a role in ALDI assuring their customers are informed about their super values. They provide weekly ads on line, weekly offers through e-mail and a free ALDI smart phone app which features include capabilities to view weekly ads and specials, ways to create your shopping list and has a GPS-enabled tool that shows the ALDI stores nearest to your current location, provides addresses, directions, maps and store hours.

Not just committed to offering grocery shoppers a smarter alternative, ALDI strives for complete customer service and pride themselves in offering employees generous compensation that is well above the industry standard. In efforts to fill at least 30 positions, ALDI officials recently advertised cashier positions at $11.75 per hour; shift managers at $16.00 per hour and store manager trainee positions for $21.65 per hour. They also offer part time employees working at least 20 hours a week full health insurance benefits, dental coverage and 401K plans.

Considered a discount grocery chain and recognized as the leading select discount grocer, ALDI since 1976 has accumulated more than 1,200 U.S. stores in 32 states concentrated from Kansas to the East Coast. It has more than 5000 stores worldwide. A grocery retailer that has grown without merger or acquisition, ALDI opened 75 stores in the United States in 2011 and has plans to open more than 80 stores by years end.

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