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Aldi to open Tampa store on site of former Barnes & Noble

The discount grocer has applied for permits and begun work on the Dale Mabry property at Kennedy Boulevard.


  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 6:45 p.m. April 4, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Aldi has more than 12,000 stores across the world.
Aldi has more than 12,000 stores across the world.
Photo by Jonathan Weiss
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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German discount grocer Aldi is in the process of building out a former Barnes & Noble location in Tampa, where it will open its first store on the south side of the city.

According to permits filed with the Tampa’s planning department, the grocer is retrofitting the bookseller’s long-time home at 213 N. Dale Mabry Highway.

No opening date is available, and the company did not respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

The new store will be about a mile south of Interstate 75 and Midtown Tampa — the 23-acre, 1.8 million-square-foot, $1 billion development — at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard.

The grocer, known for its no frills shopping experience, is entering an area already crowded with supermarkets. Within about 3 miles of where it is building the store, there are at least eight grocery stores, including three Publix locations.

The new Aldi will be the chain’s sixth store in the city but its first south of Hillsborough Avenue. It currently has 216 total stores in the state.

The chain opened its first discount grocery store in 1961 in Germany and its first U.S. store in Iowa in 1976. Its U.S. footprint today includes about 2,364 stores in the 39 states.

But the majority of Aldi’s U.S. growth has come in the past decade when it’s opened about 1,000 stores.

That will continue unabated. Earlier this year it announced plans to open 800 U.S. stores by 2028 this after buying Winn-Dixie’s parent company Southeastern Grocers last year.

While the term no frills is tossed around quite a bit, it is completely applicable to Aldi. And that is made clear at the front door where you deposit a quarter to unlock a shopping cart.

This along with no phones in stores, a very small number of employees and stocking about 90% of the store with private label products is what keeps the chain ultra-competitive price wise in an industry known for its razor thin profit margins.

The Tampa property where Aldi will move into became available early last year after Barnes & Noble closed the store after 29 years and reopened in a new, smaller location about two miles away.

 

author

Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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