Aldi opening attracts hundreds in Front Royal

Shoppers line up to enter the new Aldi in Front Royal on Thursday. The store, located at 143 Riverton Commons Drive, held its grand opening. Nathan Budryk/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – The rain did not keep shoppers away from the grand opening of an Aldi grocery store on Thursday morning.

Throngs of area residents formed a line to deposit a quarter to unlock a cart for their shopping trip inside the new store located at 143 Riverton Commons Drive.

Customers were greeted with free eco-bags and product samples, and the first 100 customers in the door received golden tickets and won prizes.

Lili Chamorro, of Front Royal, is a regular customer at Aldi in Winchester.

“Their prices are reasonable,” she said. “They have international products that I like as well. I’m very excited. I put it on my calendar and I was counting the days until they opened. I know some of the cashiers in Winchester and I kept asking them when the new one opens.”

Lili Chamorro, of Front Royal, looks at cheese samples during the grand opening of Aldi on Thursday. Nathan Budryk/Daily

Jeffrey Baehr, vice president of Aldi’s Frederick, Maryland, division shared Chamorro’s excitement.

“Our nearest store is the Winchester area and we do a great business over there,” he said. “We think Front Royal is going to be a great market for us. We’ve got a lot of the other big retailers nearby so we’re in the right spot. … We’re hoping to build a successful operation and build a relationship with the local community and customers.”

During the grand opening, many exclamations of “Wow, that’s cheap!” rang out from customers throughout the store.

Shopper Laura Biggs, of Front Royal, said she used to go to Pennsylvania to shop at Aldi.

“I would buy things in big quantities and it was so much cheaper there,” she said. “Then, we’d go to Winchester, of course, and now we have it here. … I could go more often to the one in Winchester and now we can go here – their meats, their produce, their cheeses and then all the fun German stuff – I have German heritage.”

The event’s turnout was notable, especially given the weather, noted Baehr.

“We’re certainly exceeding our expectations today,” said Baehr. “It’s a fantastic opening. The foot count so far is great and the excitement level in the store is greater than we anticipated. Even with the rain and a little bit cold weather, the turnout has been fantastic and has exceeded our expectations.”

Baehr noted that at Aldi they believe great quality shouldn’t come at a high price – rather great quality should come at everyday low prices.

“That separates us from most of the competition,” he said. “We bring great quality to the customers.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com