Wareham ALDI grand opening stirs shopper excitement
The grand opening of ALDI in Wareham Thursday morning saw a long line of people waiting outside for the ribbon cutting, some arriving two hours before the store opened.
"ALDI! ALDI! ALDI!" the group chanted, clutching their reusable shopping bags and undeterred by the cold.
“My girlfriend asked me to come and she said I’d better be here,” said Michael Baptiste, the first one in line to enter the new grocery store. It was his first time in an ALDI and he got in line at 6 a.m. to be the first to enjoy it.
To celebrate the opening of the first Wareham store, the first 100 customers received a “golden ticket” with ALDI gift cards of various amounts. There were also products around the store to be sampled by eager new customers.
The store, located at 2419 Cranberry Highway, is part of the $3.4 billion investment plan ALDI recently announced to expand to 2,500 stores by the end of 2022. There are currently more than 1,600 stores in 35 states.
ALDI shoppers can expect to save between 30 and 50 percent on their grocery bill, said Patrick McDermott, director of operations. The product range offers 90 percent private label products, making the shopping experience more streamlined, he said. ALDI also focuses on being sustainable, with energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration and no free plastic bags for shoppers.
Katherine Brown, a Wareham resident who arrived at the store early in the morning, was excited to fill her shopping cart.
“I’m glad it came to this region because they have terrific prices,” Brown said. “And their store brand is just as good as any other brand.”
Bruce Persohn, South Windsor division vice president of ALDI, said the line of more than 50 people outside the store is typical of an ALDI grand opening.
“We always have a long line, a lot of inquisitive shoppers and a lot of excitement,” Persohn said. “Our prices are very difficult to match and customers enjoy the quality of our products.”
Kris Nelson, who visited the store in the morning and planned to come back after work, said the new grocery store was a need for Wareham.
“Any place that can give Stop & Shop a run for its money is alright by me,” Nelson said.
ALDI will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.