WAPAKONETA — A long line of excited shoppers waited in the chilly rain for the grand reopening of the remodeled Aldi store at 1246 Bellefontaine St. Tuesday morning.
At 8:30 a.m., Ryan Harmon, director of store operations for Aldi, said a few quick words of thanks to the anxious shoppers. He also assured them the changes made to the store would make the wait worth it. Aldi cashiers cut the ribbon and the waiting customers took their first look at the remodeled store.
“Very nice store,” said Connie Sharp, of Jackson Center. “This is my hometown store where I shop. I missed it when it was closed. They did a great job.”
The Wapakoneta store was one of 1,300 stores nationwide that underwent a remodel, Harmon said. The store was closed for five weeks while the sales floor was expanded to hold more product so customers had more to choose from, he said. Refrigerated produce was also added to the store, along with more fresh food, red meat and produce.
Harmon said recycled building materials were used during construction. Full LED lighting and energy efficient refrigeration units were also added during the remodel, he said.
“We’ll be adding new items in the near future,” Harmon said. “We’re happy with everything else.”
Thirty minutes after the grand reopening ceremony the newly remodeled store was packed with shoppers. Even with all the customers inside the store, there were many more lined up outside waiting to get inside. As one or two shoppers left the store with their goods, one or two would walk through the entrance doors, pushing carts ahead of them.
“The aisles are bigger,” said Kathy Dirksen, of Wapakoneta. “I like bigger aisles. Actually, I think the whole store is bigger.”
Dirksen said she is a regular at the Wapakoneta Aldi store and shops there at least once a week. She was impressed with the changes made during the remodel, saying the story was “very nice.”
Aldi Cashier Crystal Huber, on loan from Lima, cashing out Kathy Dirksen, of Wapakoneta, during the grand re-opening of the Wapakoneta Aldi store after five weeks of being closed for remodelling.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.