FLORENCE, S.C. – In the coming months, a second Aldi will be built in Florence off of David McLeod Boulevard and North Beltline Drive, next to Ashley Furniture and Hobby Lobby.

If the rain holds out, that is.

Morgan Construction Company project manager Dan Phillips said Monday that the aim is to have the 17,000 square-foot grocery store completed this summer in West Florence.

“We’re hoping for some time in July,” he said. “But it depends on this winter weather.”

Fifteen years ago, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based general contractor built the first Aldi in Florence on South Irby Street, he said, and they’ve constructed approximately 100 throughout the Southeast during that time.

“They’ve done a lot of upgrades since then,” he said. “They keep improving on their stores.”

Subcontractor Mike Brock of Brock’s Grading in Hartsville said they’ve been at work for roughly one month on the site and are responsible for water, sewer, storm drains, sidewalks, asphalt paving and the building pad.

On Monday, his crew was busy putting in a storm management basin.

“They’ll be shopping soon,” he said, glancing toward a large puddle on site. “If the weather dries out.”

Founded in 1961 in Germany, Aldi is headquartered in Batavia, Illinois, and now has more than 1,500 stores in 32 states, according to its website. It plans to have 650 new locations by 2018.

It’s a “no-frills shopping experience” that takes a different approach to grocery shopping. Shoppers bag their own groceries – with their own bags – after paying a quarter to get a cart that is refunded upon a safe return to the cart stable.

Credit cards are not accepted – a general ethos of cost savings permeates the Aldi culture – but debit and EBT cards are.

Aldi has exclusive brands, and they might be displayed still in shipping boxes.

“ At Aldi, we believe that great quality shouldn’t come at a high price; rather, great quality should come with everyday low prices,” Krysta Cearley, Aldi Salisbury division vice president, said in an email.

She said Aldi customers realize a 50 percent cost savings in switching from national brands to Aldi exclusive brands, which can be found alongside organic produce, USDA choice beef and liveGfree gluten-free products, among others.

Aldi chooses site locations based on density, proximity to competition, property cost and traffic patterns, she said. Stores are located where Aldi shoppers are located, she said in the email.

“Rising demand for Aldi is fueling significant expansion as growing numbers of smart shoppers are discovering that they can save time and money at Aldi without sacrificing quality,” she said.

The new layout offers a modern and convenient look, she said, with natural lighting, high ceilings and environmentally friendly building materials.

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