Aldi (copy)

Discount grocery chain Aldi is building a $100 million distribution center in Loxley, Alabama, to support its expansion along the Gulf Coast and into Louisiana, which will include stores in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Central, Marrerro and Slidell. 

Aldi, the fast-growing discount grocery store chain, has started construction in Loxley, Alabama, on a $100 million regional headquarters and distribution hub that will service up to 100 Gulf Coast region stores, including Louisiana, which will become the 38th state where Aldi operates. 

Other states being served by the warehouse are Alabama, south Georgia, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. The projected opening date is late 2022, the company said last year when the project was announced. More than 200 people will work at the facility.

The 564,000-square-foot facility is the company's sixth distribution center in the southern U.S.

The retailer also announced Wednesday that it will open approximately 100 new locations nationwide this year, with a focus on Arizona, California, Florida and the Northeast.

Aldi doesn’t have a store in Louisiana yet but has been making moves in the state over the past year or so. Last month, the chain paid $1.4 million for a 3.5-acre property in the Settlement at Shoe Creek traditional neighborhood development in Central. In May, the company purchased an 11.1-acre site on O’Neal Lane in Baton Rouge for $1.35 million. 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.

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

German-based Aldi was founded in 1961 and entered the U.S. market in 1976. It now has nearly 2,000 stores in 37 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.