Tag: Business Insider

Aldi to Spend $180M Remodeling Most Chicago Area Stores

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A remodeled Aldi store | Crain’s Chicago Business | Below: The redesigned Aldi in Virginia | Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Aldi redesign.jpgThursday, May 25, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

According to a May 16 Chicago Tribune report, “Aldi, one of the fastest growing grocery chains in the U.S., plans to spend about $180 million remodeling 130 of its 150 Chicago-area stores by 2020 — part of a broader effort to move its no-frills model into modern times.”

The remodel positions the grocery chain to compete with high-end chains like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. Aldi is also looking to build 400 new stores by 2020, going from 1,600 to 2,000, the Tribune reports.

“We’re becoming more and more mainstream with more customers,” Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart told Crain’s in February. “We’ve got older stores. We need to get up to date.”

Bellwood, Broadview and Melrose Park each have an Aldi location. Last December, the Aldi located in Maywood (the village’s only full-service grocery store), closed due to high property taxes and lagging sales, according to company officials.

So far, there’s been no word on whether the Bellwood, Broadview and Melrose Park Aldi locations will be included in the $180 million Chicago area remodeling effort. Attempts to contact company officials were unsuccessful.

For an idea of what the remodeled stores will look like, refer to a redesigned Aldi that opened on Montrose Avenue in Chicago in April.

According to a report on the store opening in the Daily Herald, “Remodeled stores will also get a more modern design, open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials, such as recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting.”

And last October, Aldi debuted a newly designed store in Richmond, Virginia that Business Insider said “looks almost identical to Whole Foods’ new cheaper chain of stores called 365 by Whole Foods.”

“The Aldi store has softer lighting than its older stores, as well as a larger fresh produce section, wider aisles, and electronic displays on the walls.” VFP

Get to eating healthy now!

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Melrose Park Chick-fil-A to Open Oct. 13 in Winston Plaza

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chick-fil-a_meal1.jpgSaturday, October 8, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Chick-fil-A, according to a recent Business Insider article, is quickly establishing its fast food dominance. The average restaurant reportedly generated $3.9 million in 2015, more than any other fast-food chain in the country. The average KFC restaurant, for instance, netted about $1 million last year, Business Insider notes.

Next week, Chick-fil-A will mark its territory in Melrose Park when it opens at 2 Winston Plaza. Listings for full-time and part-time team member positions at the Winston Plaza location are currently posted on the website snagajob.com.

The opening in Melrose Park will accompany what the company calls a First 100 program, “where we invite 100 people to celebrate the grand opening of each new Chick-fil-A restaurant,” according to its website.

According to a summary of the program by the Huffington Post, “Chick-fil-A’s ‘First 100’ event invites 100 members of the community to spend 12 hours at the restaurant in pursuit of one coveted prize: a year of free chicken sandwich meals.”

“To be clear,” the Huffington article notes, “this is not an unlimited fast food pass. ‘First 100’ victors receive one free chicken sandwich meal per week for a year, roughly $300 dollars worth of chicken.”

For more information on the rules of the First 100 program, click here.

The article by Business Insider lists some of the possible reasons for Chick-fil-A’s popularity. For instance, a new study suggests that the restaurant has one of the highest performing drive-thru service among its competitors.

“The chain scored the highest marks on employee politeness at the drive thru, according to the study, which compiled data from 2,000 visits to 15 fast-food chains,” Business Insider notes. “Employees said ‘thank you,’ smiled, and had a pleasant demeanor during nine out of 10 visits.”

The popular restaurant chain’s drive thru service also scored major points for accuracy, with the study noting that Chick-fil-A workers got orders correct 95 percent of the time, second only to Carl Jr.’s.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A came under fire over controversial statements made by its president, Dan Cathy, who voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage. The company’s charitable arm has also come under scrutiny for giving to political groups considered by many to be hostile to gay rights.

But the controversy, however, hasn’t slowed the company’s aggressive expansion.

According to an April press release drafted by the company, 25 percent of all new Chick-fil-A restaurants openings will be in the Midwest region. So far, there are more than 2,000 Chick-fil-A restaurants in existence.

“Every Chick-fil-A restaurant is a locally owned and operated small business, creating approximately 80 full- and part-time jobs each with employment and tax benefits going back to the local community,” the release notes.

“Chick-fil-A franchise owners live and work in the community in which their restaurants are located and are highly involved in the day-to-day operations at the restaurant. Seeking to become highly involved in their local communities, the franchise owners frequently work to support local schools and organizations.” VFP

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