Aldi, a 'simple' grocery store, is coming to the Waynesboro area

Shawn Hardy
Waynesboro Record Herald

Aldi, a no-frills grocery store chain with German roots dating to the early 1900s, is adding the Wayne Heights Mall to its more than 2,000 locations across the United States.

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The Washington Township Planning Committee recommended approval of the Aldi plans Monday, March 13, and they are likely to go before the township supervisors on April 3, according to Chad Reichard, assistant zoning officer. Some plan modifications might still be made based on the possibility of traffic impact fees, comments from the Washington Township Municipal Authority, which provides sewer, and the Waynesboro Authority, which provides water, and bonding.

The township heard rumblings about Aldi late last year and received the plans in February, Reichard said.

The plans will change the footprint of the Wayne Heights Mall, with the 20,499-square-foot store replacing four storefronts between Rite Aid and Dollar Tree. The front of the building will be expanded to be not-quite flush with Dollar Tree and there will be a loading dock in the back, Reichard said.

Aldi, a no-frills grocery store, is expected to join the list of businesses at the Wayne Heights Mall, east of Waynesboro. The Washington Township Planning Committee recently recommended approval of store plans.

Aldi representatives did not respond to an email asking why the Wayne Heights Mall, on Pa. 16 just east of Waynesboro, was selected or when the new store is expected to open.

The company website says, “When it comes to choosing store locations, we look at many factors. We want the best sites that are closest to our shoppers and can support a high daily traffic volume.”

When the Wayne Heights Aldi opens, it will be the fourth store in the area, joining one on Gateway Avenue in Chambersburg and two in Hagerstown, one on the Dual Highway and the other along Sharpsburg Pike.

It will mark the return of grocery shopping at the Wayne Heights Mall, following the June 2015 relocation of Martin’s Food Market to the Waynesboro Mall. Martin’s had a four-decade-plus history in Wayne Heights, and its former site is now occupied by Tractor Supply, which opened in 2016.

Aldi operates more than 2,000 stores in 36 states, including 150 in Pennsylvania and 64 in Maryland, according to the website.

The Albrecht family started selling groceries in a small shop in Essen, Germany, in 1913, founded the world’s first discount grocery store in Germany in 1961, and opened the first U.S. store in Iowa in 1976.

There are 5,000-plus stores worldwide in about 20 countries ranging from Australia and Austria to Switzerland and the United States.

This sketch shows the Aldi grocery store proposed at the Wayne Heights Mall along Route 16 just east of Waynesboro.

“Simple” is a company theme reflected on the website, including the “simple story of a small family business,” “simple everyday situations" and “a simple recipe, quality pays off.”

Aldi focuses on “doing away with anything unnecessary” — and that includes bagging groceries. Cashiers place merchandise directly in a cart and shoppers do their own bagging. Shoppers also deposit a quarter for a cart and get the money back when the cart is returned.

“At our core, we are different by design,” the website says. “We are private-label trailblazers, and our company is built on these basic principles: simplicity matters, we sell the best food at low prices, and everything we do is purposefully designed to save people money.”

Shelves are stocked with the most popular grocery items, the majority of which are Aldi-exclusive products. In addition to non-perishables and frozen foods, the selection includes fresh meats, seafood and produce.

There also are Aldi Finds, limited time specialty merchandise, such as household items, seasonal selections, clothing and gardening tools.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at