HANFORD — Shoppers, get your carts ready because ALDI is open for business.

Today is the official grand opening of the discount supermarket chain, located at 1789 W. Lacey Blvd. in Hanford.

ALDI held its soft opening Wednesday morning, with customers lining up outside. If the busy soft opening is any indication of the future, the store will do just fine in Hanford.

“We can’t wait to be in Hanford,” said Alexandra Skinkis, director of operations. “The city has been so great working with us to get this store open and the employees are so excited to show it off to the community.”

ALDI operates more than 1,800 stores in 35 states. It’s relatively new in California, having opened its first store in the state just three years ago.

An ALDI store opened in Porterville in December and the Hanford location is the farthest store to the north in the state, though Skinkis said they will continue to expand.

While Skinkis said ALDI would love to open in every town if it could, they look for sites where they can make a good impact in the community, somewhere that is accessible and has ample parking as well.

“Hanford was a great spot where it just king of all came together,” she said.

Skinkis said she was getting good feedback from the customers during the soft opening and there was an air of excitement from both employees and customers.

She said the whole model of ALDI is designed to be fast and efficient for the customer, while not sacrificing quality.

“We offer the best quality at the most affordable prices.” Skinkis said.

Something that sets the store apart from other grocery chains is the fact that customers won’t find a lot of the large name brands. A majority of the products are made by ALDI exclusive brands — private labels sourced specifically for ALDI stores.

Skinkis said the customers love the brands, which include the added bonus of saving money. She said this allows the store to be a good steward for the community and all the shoppers.

Something new customers may not have heard about the store — but previous customers know and love — is its “ALDI finds” section.

Usually found near the center of the store, anything with a red/white tag is a special. Skinkis said they will get new items every Wednesday, but once the product runs out, it will no longer be there.

“Customers will call it like a treasure hunt,” Skinkis said. “It’s a huge area for us that customers just get so excited about.”

Currently, the “ALDI finds” section has fitness products, garden items and things for Mother’s Day.

Customers are invited to the ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony today at 8 a.m.

Skinkis said there will be a golden ticket giveaway for first 100 customers in line, who will get randomly shuffled girftcards worth $5, $10, $25 or $100.

Samples and eco-friendly tote bags will also be given away, and customers will be entered to win produce for a year, which will be drawn at the end of weekend.

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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