ALDI, the German chain of discount food stores, will open in Sandy Springs on May 3, company officials have announced.

A press release sent Monday, April 16, ALDI will have ribbon cuttings on May 3 in Woodstock, Roswell and Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs location will be at 6336 Roswell Road.

“The newest Atlanta-area stores showcase the ‘new look’ of ALDI,” a company press release says. “With higher ceilings, improved natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials – such as recycled materials and energy-saving refrigeration and light bulbs – the stores will offer customers a simple and easy-to-navigate shopping experience.”

In addition to offering deep discounts on exclusive brands, ALDI also saves money on overhead by charging customers a quarter to obtain a shopping cart with is returned to them when they bring the cart back. The store encourages customers to bring their own shopping bags.

One local businessman says ALDI is a sign of the changing demographics in the city.

Jan Saperstein, owner of the Sandy Springs Plaza shopping center, recently told the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods that the German retailer is a “stealth Walmart.”

Saperstein discussed ALDI at the council of neighborhood’s meeting on March 22 as part of his larger presentation about why the city should turn property it owns at 235 Johnson Ferry Road into a park instead of using it as a site for a future City Hall. The city council recently took action to prevent a Walmart from moving into the area.

“ALDI’s customer is a different economic level than what we’re trying to achieve, so either we’re really naïve or they’re really smart and, unfortunately, it’s probably the latter,” Saperstein said.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com