Aldi, the fast-growing discount grocery store chain, said it will invest $100 million into building a regional headquarters and distribution hub in Baldwin County, Alabama that will service stores in Louisiana, South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Aldi doesn't have any locations in Louisiana yet, but since spring 2019, the company has bought property or obtained construction permits for stores in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Slidell and Marrero. 

Aldi, a fast-growing discount grocery store chain, has purchased an 11.1-acre site on O’Neal Lane.

Aldi Inc. paid $1.35 million for the property at 2327 O’Neal Lane in a deal that was filed Wednesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was All American Realty Corp. of Baton Rouge.

The property was most recently home for a Hardee’s.

Aldi specializes in only fast-moving grocery items instead of the wide variety carried in traditional supermarkets. The typical store size is 22,000 square feet, smaller than a traditional supermarket. About 10 employees work at each store.

A typical Aldi will carry about 1,300 items stocked on four or five aisles with spacious checkouts and without services like a pharmacy or in-store bank. The company says more than 90% of the products in its stores are Aldi-exclusive brands versus national name brands.

Customers can bring their own shopping bags or buy reusable ones from the store. They also must pay a quarter for a shopping cart, but the coin is refunded when the cart is returned to the storefront. The company's website says the 25-cent deposit and cart return saves customers money because it doesn’t have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts.

German-based Aldi was founded in 1961 and entered the U.S. market in 1976. It now has nearly 2,000 stores in 36 states and said it is on track to become the nation’s third-largest grocery retailer in terms of location by the end of 2022. Only Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons/Safeway have more stores than Aldi, according to Progressive Grocer, an industry publication.

In a statement, Aldi said it had no information to share about a Baton Rouge store, but would reach out at a later date if it had updates.

Aldi doesn’t have a store in Louisiana yet, but it has been making moves in the state over the past year. In February, the Lafayette city planning commission approved a rezoning request to build an Aldi store near the intersection of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Curran Lane.

Plan to bring Aldi to Lafayette gets preliminary OK; residents speak out against road extension

In March 2019, the company paid $2 million for the former Toys “R” Us building in Slidell.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi buys vacant Toys 'R' Us property in Slidell

In June 2019, Aldi submitted plans to Jefferson Parish officials to build a store in Marrero, on the old Belle Promenade Mall site near Lapalco and Barataria boulevards.

Email Timothy Boone at