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The Orlando Sentinel reports that after 18 months of speculation about its plans, German no-frills/limited assortment grocer Aldi has unveiled its plans to open 13 stores in central Florida by the end of the year. Four of the stores will be in Orlando, and the rest will be in markets that include Winter Park, Sanford, St. Cloud, Merritt Island, Titusville, Daytona Beach, Lady Lake, Palm Bay and Ocala.

The stores will be supplied by a $40 million distribution center being built by the company in Haines City, Florida, which is designed, from all reports, to allow the company to efficiently and effectively compete with Supervalu's Save-A-Lot format, as well as with Wal-Mart and Target.

KC's View:
There are a lot of people in the industry who think that Aldi is poised to become a major player in an economic climate that, to be frank, has a lot of shoppers reeling and looking for new options. It won’t be everybody; there will still be plenty of shoppers who won’t want mostly private label product displayed in pallets, who will prefer a broader level of choice and who won’t want to rent a shopping cart for a quarter.

But it also is likely that the list of people is growing who will find Aldi's specific offering to be alluring.