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February 2017: Ready for Aldi

Aldi will be filling the old OfficeMax space in the Red Wing Mall this summer. (photo by Kit Murray)

Red Wing Mall manager Dan Plein said it's official: Aldi will be taking over the OfficeMax location by mid to late summer.

The low-priced European grocery chain based out of Germany has been trying to make its way into Red Wing for a while, Plein said. Once OfficeMax officials decided they wouldn't renew their lease, it was time for Aldi to make its way in.

"We just haven't had the space available, but now it worked out," Plein said.

Rumors of other grocery chains were floating around, but Plein said he found it best to have Aldi fill the 19,000-square-foot space.

"I think it will be great for the Red Wing Mall," Plein said. "It will be a tremendous traffic generator for Red Wing businesses."

The grocery store will be fitting into a small space, but that doesn't mean it won't have a lot to offer for shoppers in Red Wing. Aldi's marketers say a unique approach helps set it apart from competitors. From having customers use a quarter to obtain a cart, with the quarter given back once the cart is returned, to having them bring their own reusable bags, the store's idea is to help save the planet and save money.

Aldi also thrives on store brand items. Just like Target has Up&Up and Walmart has Equate, for examples, Aldi brand uses the same idea to help customers keep money in their pockets, claiming to save up to 50 percent on products throughout the store.

Having a small space to fill products helps the store focus on weekly must-haves listed in its flyers. The grocery store also uses the lower costs of a smaller building to pass along savings. Plein noted why this was one of the many reasons he knew it would be a good fit for the mall.

"Aldi is competitive in pricing. They've found a niche that works," he said.

After preliminary environmental testing is done by March, Plein said, Aldi will start getting ready to open its doors sometime later this year.

The store has definitely sparked a conversation in Red Wing, with shoppers awaiting the announcement on the @RedWingAldi Facebook page.

For those looking to stay posted while waiting for the grand opening, visit the Aldi website at www.aldi.us.

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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