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An ALDI-era begins in Detroit Lakes

ALDI grocery in Detroit Lakes opened around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18 to prevent a Black Friday-style rush of customers for their planned 9 a.m. opening. One ALDI official said customers began coming to line up at the door around 7 a.m. and they didn't want a mad dash at their opening so they let them in a little bit early, which was easier on the employees and got the customers out of the cold.

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Jim Brogren Sr., picks up some grapes to add to his cart at the grand opening of ALDI grocery in Detroit Lakes on Dec. 18, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)
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Detroit Lakes' ALDI grocery opened to large crowds eager to peruse the store's items on Saturday.

One ALDI official said they opened before 9 a.m. to limit the large crowd that had begun to assemble around the entrance up to two hours before the scheduled opening time.

"It was a lot of pressure moments, kind of, the last week just getting everything in here and everything set up," said Matt Doyle, store manager for ALDI in Detroit Lakes. "It's nice to have it finally open, we've been waiting for a while."

Doyle also said construction wrapped up last week, and his store team took over the building this week and stocked the entire store from scratch.

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Shoppers peruse the cereal aisle during the grand opening of ALDI grocery in Detroit Lakes on Dec. 18. 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

"We've got 16 (team members) right now, so we've got a really good group and a lot of them started in the late-summer, or early-fall, so we've all been at my old store in Fergus Falls training," he said.

Ultimately, Doyle said he hopes ALDI shoppers will find comparable products at a lower price.

"That's generally what we do, it's kind of a no frills grocery store, so it's kind of, get in, get out, and try to save everybody some money," he said.

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A cashier scans a customer's items as they make their way through the check outline during the grand opening of ALDI grocery in Detroit Lakes on Dec. 18, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

Many of the customers had been waiting for the store to open all summer and they were not disappointed.

"I love ALDIs because no matter where I've lived ... I've always shopped ALDI, so I was over the moon," said Rita Simon, of Detroit Lakes. "I think it's personable, I like the way they display things, I like the prices, I like being able to choose so many varieties, I like the foreign, like the chocolate from Germany, and all of that, I think it's awesome."

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She also said she has been shopping locally at Walmart and Central Market in Detroit Lakes for groceries, but thinks she may end up at ALDI a lot more since this location opened.

"All we need now is a Trader Joes and I'll be happy," she said.

Another shopper, Amanda Hanson, of Detroit Lakes, said she had been driving to Dilworth to shop at ALDI and is thrilled that this one is located right in town.

"It's a beautiful store and all of my favorites are here," said Hanson. "I love the fresh produce, it's the best prices on berries and other fruit."

She also said she likes the ALDI Finds aisle because there can always be something extra that she ends up bringing home.

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Shoppers flock to the ALDI Finds aisle during the grand opening of ALDI in Detroit Lakes on Dec. 18, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

The ALDI Finds aisle is a special item section that changes every week and is usually dependent on the season or upcoming holidays.

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"It just seems to fulfill my family's needs, everything that we need is here," she said.

Multimedia News Lead Reporter
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