Shoppers flocked to the newly remodeled Aldi store in O’Fallon on Monday.
“I love it,” said homemaker Connie Alvey, 50, of Lebanon. “It was nice before, but now it’s new and clean. They have a lot bigger selection, and the prices are still good.
“Right now, they have sugar for 69 cents for a four-pound bag, so I stocked up for the holidays. They always have milk cheap. It’s $1.30 a gallon, and I have lots of grandkids, so I go through lots of milk.”
The store reopened Monday after being closed five weeks for remodeling. Workers added 26 feet onto the back, according to store manager Teresa Ellis.
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Aldi is remodeling 37 stores in the St. Louis area. The one in O’Fallon is at 1635 W. U.S. 50.
“It’s so much more open,” said Kelly Stroot, 27, of New Baden, a recreation manager. “There’s a lot more space where you bag your groceries. Just in general, I like the layout.”
Kindra Bell came to check out the store with her daughter, Maelynn Procasky, 11. They bought a turkey and a ham for 99 cents a pound and two boxes of frozen flatbread.
“We’ve been having to go to the (Aldi) in Swansea, and it was so crowded,” said Bell, 44, of Fairview Heights.
Aldi is a German company that plans to expand and remodel more than 1,300 of its stores in the United States by 2020.
“(Each store will) feature a modern design, open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials,” according to a press release.
There was some confusion over the O’Fallon reopening because an email from an Aldi spokeswoman in St. Louis stated that the store wouldn’t be open until Friday.
The store manager explained that the company decided to have a “soft opening” Monday.
“We are busy, but were were prepared for it,” Ellis said. “We had plenty of staff and plenty of product.”
Mary Arthur came out of the store Monday carrying boxes of saltine crackers, brownie mix and cheese. She lives in a mobile-home park across the street.
“I really missed it,” said Arthur, 65, a retiree who made circuit boards. “This is like my second home.”
Kathleen Cleveland, 66, also walked from her mobile home to check things out. In six years, she had never seen so many cars in the parking lot.
“(The new store is) a drastic improvement,” said retired Centreville city employee Shirley Jeffries, 65, of Belleville. “It’s much nicer. The aisles are wider, and they stock more items. It’s very organized.”
Retired school monitor Ruby Burns, 68, of Fairview Heights, was all smiles as she loaded groceries in her vehicle. She missed the store when it was closed.
“It wasn’t here for me to buy my favorite produce,” she said. “We get fruit and vegetables, milk and eggs, and I just love their bread, their honey wheat bread.”