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Why over 100 people lined outside of Aldi
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Oakwood Police officers revel in the selection of doughnuts at the updated Aldi in Oakwood on Thursday, June 6, 2019. - photo by Kelsey Podo

Town officials, Oakwood Police Department officers and residents crowded into the Aldi in Oakwood on Thursday, June 5 morning to witness the grocery store’s facelift.

The Oakwood Aldi, located at 3640 Mundy Mill Road, was a part of a $1.9 billion initiative to remodel and expand more than 1,300 Aldi stores across the U.S. By the end of 2021, Aldi will have invested $49.5 million in updating 42 stores in Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area, according to a press release.

Sarah Grace Wells, district Aldi manager, said the construction on the Oakwood location took over two months.

Rachel Viele, who has worked with Aldi for over 10 years, said with the new upgrades, the store’s layout has become more spacious and efficient. Now multiple people can travel through the aisles with less chance of bumping carts.

Instead of walking to the back corner of the building to get produce, like in the older model, it’s the first thing people see when they enter the doors. The update also includes an expanded product line.

“I’m a big Fresh Market person, and that’s my idea of therapy,” Genia Reid, a regular customer at Aldi said. “When you walk in here, it has that Fresh Market vibe. It’s my new favorite treasure.”

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Dozens of people crowded into the Oakwood Aldi to receive free gift cards and witness the grocery store’s upgrade on Thursday, June 6, 2019. - photo by Kelsey Podo

For the ribbon cutting and grand opening on Thursday, people had the chance of entering a drawing for free produce for a year, and the first 100 who walked through the doors received gift cards ranging from $10-$100.

James Hendricks was one of the lucky $100 golden ticket winners. Not knowing why people lined outside of Aldi, he joined them out of curiosity.

“The upgrades are very nice,” he said. “I first started going to Aldi when I was living in New Jersey and I saw all the discounts and all the different items. I’ve been going for a while.”

Brent Stalions, the store’s manager, said he enjoyed witnessing another grand opening with the business.

“I was the manager that opened this location five years ago,” he said. “It’s nice to see it full circle and watch as the business continues to grow.”

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From left, Aldi representatives Jonathan Aylor, Brent Stalions and Sarah Grace Wells initiate the grand opening of the updated Aldi in Oakwood on Thursday, June 6, 2019. - photo by Kelsey Podo
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When people enter the Aldi in Oakwood, the produce is the first section they see with the new renovations. The Oakwood Aldi opened on Thursday, June 6, 2019 after receiving updates. - photo by Kelsey Podo
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