Muncie's ALDI has been at its new location at 210 W. McGalliard Road for over a month — right next to its former location on the same road.
The new store, which opened Nov. 21, 2019, brought with it some features ALDI introduced in recent years that appeal to college-age students, said Greg Kline, ALDI’s director of operation in Muncie.
“Our greatest increases in our customer-base groups of the last couple years are millennials,” Kline said. “The fresh product again is something that has really brought them in.”
Those fresh products have been a main attraction for Robert Poppe, sophomore business administration major, who has been shopping at ALDI for a year.
Poppe said he buys 75 to 85 percent of his groceries at ALDI, purchasing generic brand produce and fresh foods, while going to larger chains for name brand products.
“A great example’s Pop-Tarts,” Poppe said. “Some people don't like off-brand Pop-Tarts. I personally don't care, so I'll buy Pop-Tarts here, but say you want the name brand one, that's the one thing I'll pick up from Walmart.”
Pricing is another factor for Poppe. He said he feels ALDI’s pricing is often fair and accurate to what he expects a product should be worth.
“I come to ALDI with the expectation that I'm going to buy some cheap stuff, because, you know, we ballin’ on a college budget, like, we want something cheap,” Poppe said.
Other features that came with the location change and remodeling process have helped improve the store’s appeal to college-age students over the last few years, such as Instacart which Kline said ALDI rolled out over the last year.
Instacart is an online same-day grocery pickup and delivery service for stores like Target, CVS Pharmacy and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, according to its website.
Kline said the move to the new location is part of a $5 billion expansion and replacement program across the entire ALDI chain that replaced some older stores like the McGalliard location while also remodeling around 1,300 other locations.
The larger store, he said, allows for a 20 percent broader product range, including a 40 percent increase in fresh meat and produce.
The new ALDI store employs 17 stockers, cashiers and managers, including five Ball State students like junior communications major Madelynn Goldenstern, who was first drawn to work at ALDI because of the scheduling it offered.
Kline said that though there are currently no plans to hire more new employees, there may be more opportunities in the future.