Aldi strikes again with plans for new Chesterfield store

The first shoppers browse the shelves of the new Parham Road Aldi. Photos by Katie Demeria.

The Aldi on Parham Road opened this spring. Photos by Katie Demeria.

A European grocer wants to gobble up even more space in the Richmond market.

Aldi, the rapidly expanding German grocery store chain, has filed plans in Chesterfield County for a 17,800-square-foot location on 3 acres at 10900 Iron Bridge Road.

The store is at least the ninth location that Aldi has either proposed or built in the Richmond area as it continues what company officials have referred to as an “aggressive acceleration.” In 2013 the grocer announced plans to open 650 stores in the U.S. by 2018.

The Iron Bridge Road store would sit on part of a 24-acre parcel owned by the Iron Bridge Baptist Church, which already has a church building on part of that land, county records indicate.

The plans suggest that the church will continue operating on part of the parcel, but it is not clear if Aldi will lease or purchase the 3 acres once it receives approval from Chesterfield County.

An Aldi representative declined to confirm the proposed store, and a message left with Iron Bridge Baptist Church was not returned by press time. The plans were filed June 23.

Aldi attempts to set itself apart in the industry by keeping overhead costs – and its prices – low; it employs practices like cart rental systems and charging for grocery bags. The store also limits the items it carries, largely stocking its own brands rather than big-name labels.

Those differences may prove vital for the planned shop on Iron Bridge, a stretch of Chesterfield not short on grocery competition. A Martin’s and Food Lion are located less than a mile away, and a Walmart Supercenter is just around the corner. Another Walmart is being built farther up Iron Bridge at the new Watermark Town Center.

Aldi’s German rival, Lidl, which utilizes similar cost-cutting tactics, is planting roots in Richmond and has a store planned near Chesterfield Towne Center.

Two of Aldi’s first area stores opened in late April, and another two opened for business this month on Staples Mill Road and Mechanicsville Turnpike.

More Aldis are planned for the old Bill’s Barbecue site on North Boulevard, where work is underway, on Forest Hill Avenue on the Southside, and another Chesterfield location on Robious Road. And the chain is working to settle into part of the Burlington Coat Factory building on West Broad Street.

Lidl, which has yet to officially announce or open a store locally, is also moving into the old Bill Talley Ford location on South Laburnum Avenue and, according to a Times-Dispatch report, may be eyeing a shop on Staples Mill Road.

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