MARIETTA - A discount grocer is preparing to reopen its doors in Marietta today after a renovation and expansion.
Aldi, at 708 Pike St., will hold a ribbon-cutting at 8:45 a.m. before the store officially reopens at 9 a.m. today.
In addition to shopping at the store for the first time in more than a month, those in attendance can sample products and enter a sweepstakes for Thanksgiving-related items and other prizes.
"The interior has really been updated 100 percent," said Russ White, director of real estate for Aldi's Springfield Division. "For all intents and purposes, it's a brand-new store."
The store closed in early October to accommodate an expansion of the building from 13,000 to 15,500 square feet, along with a raised ceiling, improved lighting and more energy-efficient building materials. Much about Aldi's standard design has changed since the Marietta store opened in the mid-90s, so the project has brought it in line with more recently established locations.
"We just kind of remodeled and upgraded, so we went up with the ceiling, expanded our cooler system, added some more fresh products," said Jordan Sinclair, district manager.
The end result should be a better shopping experience, White said.
"A lot of things we had were not being given ample shelf space," he said, adding the extra square footage allowed the addition of an aisle, so a number of products will be more prominently displayed.
During the closure, employees were sent to other Aldi locations, so everyone kept their job, White said. Some of those workers went to the Vienna store, where they were needed since Marietta Aldi customers were encouraged to shop there while the work was being done.
"We have a lot of very loyal customers. A lot of them made the trek down to Vienna," White said.
Sinclair said 11 people are currently employed at the store.
"That store's always been an exceptional store," White said. "As sales grow, so will our number of employees."
White also said local officials were quite helpful in making the project a smooth one. Washington County's building department handles permitting duties for the City of Marietta.
"They were very accommodating and were up front with requirements and requests," White said.