What shoppers should know about Bluffton SC Aldi opening | marketrealtime.com

The long-awaited Aldi grocery store opens in Bluffton at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The store is located at 1131 Fording Island Road in the shopping center with Hobby Lobby and PGA Superstore. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Here’s what you need to know before you go:

Be among the first in line

The first 100 customers will receive a reusable gift bag filled with a sampling of “Aldi Fan Favorites” products and a gift card as part of the Aldi Golden Ticket gift card giveaway program, according to a news release.

Bring a quarter

You’ll need the coin to unlock a shopping cart. The quarter will be given back to you when the cart is returned at the end of your shopping trip. Aldi says this practice saves it money because it doesn’t have to use employee time to corral loose carts.

Bring your own bags

Or, you can buy reusable ones at the store. Aldi doesn’t offer single-use plastic bags, another way it says it saves money. Boxes generally are available to cart home your items.

Aldi opens in Bluffton on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 9 a.m. Lisa Wilson lwilson@islandpacket.com

Plan to bag your own groceries

A store employee will scan the items in your cart, but you’ll be on your own to bag them up. This is another way Aldi says it keeps prices lower.

Don’t expect name-brand products

The store will be stocked mostly with Aldi-exclusive brands, including gluten-free, plant-based and dairy alternative items. This doesn’t mean they are lesser quality. You’ll have to try them to see whether they stack up to the brands you are used to.

Leave the coupons at home

Aldi does not accept national manufacturers’ coupons or have a store loyalty card for discounts as other grocery stores do.

Don’t expect a fancy store

Aldi’s “no frills” locations aren’t as large as modern superstores. The Bluffton location has around 12,000-square-feet of sales floor. For many, this makes the shopping experience quicker and more efficient. Some items will be stacked on pallets.

Look for deals on staples

Staples such as flour, sugar, milk, canned goods and bread likely will be less expensive than at other grocery stores. Bring a list of what you typically pay for certain items so you can see whether it’s a bargain at Aldi or not. (Some online lists caution that paper goods and cereal may be better purchased elsewhere with a coupon. Produce also gets mixed reviews.)

Look for specialty items

Aldi is known for its good selection of cheese, European chocolates and inexpensive wine. You can expect the Germany-based company also to stock European-based beers and snacks.

Keep your receipt

If for any reason you aren’t satisfied with the quality of a product, Aldi will replace the product and refund it under its “twice as nice” guarantee.

Lisa Wilson is senior reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette covering restaurant and retail business openings and closings along with occasional breaking news. The newsroom veteran has worked for papers in Louisiana and Mississippi and is happy to call the Lowcountry home.

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