COLUMBIA — Aldi plans to move this spring from its current location on Business Loop 70 for a larger space next door to Moser's at the Interstate 70 junction.
Aldi's director of real estate, Martin Florie, said the discount grocery store has outgrown its current facility and is building nearby to remain close to its patrons.
"We've been on Business Loop a long, long time," Florie said. The German-owned company opened its first U.S. store in 1976 and came to Columbia in 1978.
Aldi has 99 stores in Missouri with 27 in the St. Louis area and 19 in the Kansas City area. Its first U.S. stores opened in southeastern Iowa and have gone by the motto, "honest to goodness savings."
The new location follows a prototype the company has begun to build across the country. At just under 18,000 square feet, it is 20 percent larger than the current supermarket.
Florie said the new store will have higher ceilings and more windows. The Lake St. Louis area has a model similar to the new building in Columbia.
Florie said the store has been "tucked away" in its current location, 711 Business Loop 70 E., and Aldi wanted to become more visible to the community.
"Visibility is key," Florie said. "There's a good node of commercial activity across the street from (our current location), but we're moving toward an area with more exposure."
According to Florie, the products offered will be the same but in larger quantities and with bigger displays.
He said the grand opening is weather-dependent but expected in April. Once the opening has been scheduled, the current store will close at the end of the day before the new store opens.
Aldi has already begun looking for buyers for the old building.
Roger Moser, owner of Moser's Discount Foods, said he is not concerned about the new competition.
"Just bring them on," Moser, said.
Moser's opened its doors in 1984 and moved to 705 Business Loop 70 W. in 1994.
"It could help us," Moser said. He anticipates more foot traffic in his store because the Aldi patrons will have to drive farther down the road.
"They've got their shoppers, and we've got ours, but we're pretty competitive," Moser said.
Florie said Aldi's will keep the same low prices despite its new neighbors.
"Those are our everyday low prices," Florie said, "I think everything will be the same for us, but competition can be a cause for change."
View Aldi and Moser's in a larger map