Fitchburg will get a discount grocery destination beginning Thursday when a new Aldi store opens.
Aldi’s third Madison-area store will open at 6261 McKee Road in the Orchard Pointe shopping center.
“We think it’s a great destination location for people that have different errands to run and other things to do on the go,” said Chris Hewitt, Aldi vice president for the Oak Creek division, which includes 55 Wisconsin stores. “It’s got great visibility, and Fitchburg is a growing area.”
In December, a new Taco Bell also opened in the development, which is anchored by SuperTarget.
Aldi, which is short for Albrecht Discount, is a German-owned grocery chain with more than 1,000 locations in the U.S.
Fitchburg Mayor Jay Allen said the store’s opening would be another added convenience for city residents.
“With Aldi, SuperTarget and Copps, we feel we’re making strides to provide things closer to our residents,” Allen said. “There will be less reason for them to have to drive to the East or West Side (of Madison).”
Aldi stores carry more than 1,400 varieties of products, including produce, meat and dairy. Hewitt said 95 percent of the items are Aldi’s own “select brands,” with names such as Fit & Active, Clancy’s and Grandessa.
Besides the house brands, Aldi is also known for cost-cutting measures such as a 25-cent cart deposit and charging for grocery bags.
Those procedures can catch new customers by surprise, Hewitt said, and he expected that to be the case when the Fitchburg store opens.
“We know we will have quite a few customers who haven’t shopped Aldi before,” said Hewitt, adding that staff will be on hand at the store’s opening to explain the processes to new customers.
The new store will have a different look than the other two Madison stores, which also recently received interior makeovers. The approximately 16,000-square-foot store has about 10 percent more sales floor space than the other two locations, Hewitt said.
The building that houses the store has two levels, and the store has an open ceiling. Windows line the first aisle to let in more natural light.
The unique design came in part because of the store’s location in the former quarry that once housed Capitol Golf Dome. Aldi is a tenant in the building; the developer is Tim Neitzel of EZ Nesbitt.
“The way they were able to build it into the hill is really a good use of land for them, and we love the visibility you get from Verona Road,” Hewitt said. “You can see it for quite a distance.”
More Aldi stores could follow, but Hewitt declined to give specifics.
“I definitely see some future opportunities in Dane County,” he said.
The two Madison Aldi locations are at 3925 Lien Road on the Far East Side and 8222 Watts Road on the Far West Side.