Aldi says it has a plan to become the third-largest grocery chain in the US by store count within the next four years.
The discount chain is investing $3.4 billion to expand to 2,500 stores — up from 1,600 stores today — by 2022, the company said Monday.
The aggressive expansion plan would make Aldi the third-largest supermarket chain, behind Walmart and Kroger.
“We pioneered a grocery model built around value, convenience, quality, and selection, and now Aldi is one of America’s favorite and fastest-growing retailers,” Aldi US CEO Jason Hart said in a statement. “We’re growing at a time when other retailers are struggling. We are giving our customers what they want, which is more organic produce, antibiotic-free meats, and fresh healthier options across the store, all at unmatched prices up to 50 percent lower than traditional grocery stores.”
Aldi also said earlier this year that it would invest $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 existing stores with a new design that features softer lighting than its older stores, as well as a larger fresh produce section, wider aisles, and electronic displays on the walls.
The German-owned grocery chain debuted the new design in October at a store in Richmond, Virginia, and it looks almost identical to Whole Foods’ new cheaper chain of stores, called 365 by Whole Foods.
Here’s what the new Aldi stores look like:
The new Aldi store looks similar to its older stores on the outside. But inside, it feels much different. The lighting is softer and more natural, and the aisles are wider.
Permanent eye-level shelving fixtures are everywhere in the new store. In the older stores, many items are stacked on top of each other in cardboard boxes instead of placed on shelves.
Spotlights in the new store help make the fresh produce section a central focus.
The produce area is much larger than in Aldi’s other stores. And like in other stores, most of the produce is sold in bulk packaging.
It looks similar to a 365 by Whole Foods store in Los Angeles, which is about the same size as Aldi and also features metal, eye-level shelving fixtures and a centrally located produce section. But at the new Aldi, there’s a large refrigerated section devoted to produce.
Fruit, salad greens, and vegetables are available, as well as premade dips and soups. Like at a 365 by Whole Foods, there isn’t a deli at the Aldi store, but there are tons of packaged cheeses and meats to choose from.
Digital displays and lit signs everywhere promise quality and freshness.
Refrigerators line the store. 365 by Whole Foods, has the same setup, with the produce section in the middle of the store and frozen and refrigerated items on the perimeter. Both stores also have limited signage.
Unlike 365, however, Aldi sells home goods like pillows and holiday decorations.
Aldi, which offers items that are about 30% cheaper on average than the same ones at Walmart, is growing rapidly. The chain has about 1,600 stores in the US with plans to add 900 in the next four years. 365 by Whole Foods has three stores with plans to add 16 more in the next year.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider.