By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Bottom Dollar closed its doors, many worried at the loss of the low-priced discount grocery store.

But fear not, says another discount chain.

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Last November, the German-owned grocery chain Aldi bought 66 Bottom Dollar stores, including 20 in this region. Now they are going to reopen nine of them, and this one in Butler is the very first.

Young Aldi interns were handing out free bags on Wednesday and assisting with carts as customers streamed in to the new Butler Aldi on Route 8.

It was the day before the official opening in what Aldi called a “Special Neighborhood Preview” that includes coupons and some freebies.

And the initial reviews were pretty good.

Sue Lawless of Butler told KDKA money editor Jon Delano that she had shopped at the Bottom Dollar when it was at the same location.

“Yes, I did,” said Lawless, “but it’s not like Aldi’s. Aldi’s is so much better.”

Accepting only cash, debit, and EBT welfare cards, the key to that is pretty simple.

“Their prices are better.”

“This compares way out from Bottom Dollar,” added Gloria Krieger of Butler. “Much better.”

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Almost all the products at Aldi are their own brand, usually priced well below familiar named brands, and Aldi has increased its line of fresh produce.

“We have over 90 produce items here every day shipped in fresh from our warehouse, so we’re really excited about that,” said Nate Reed, Aldi’s director of operations.

“Usually we go to Aldi’s first, and if they don’t have it we go to regular grocery stores,” noted Karen Minehart of Butler.

That’s a common tactic, but one regular shopper identified a problem.

“They have a tendency to not be stocked, well stocked,” said Diane Marano of Butler.

“Their grand opening their shelves are full. I’m just hoping the shelves can stay full like they are today.”

Watch for lots of grand openings in the future.

On July 29, the McKnight Road Aldi in Ross will open to be followed on Aug. 20 by one in Carnegie and on Aug. 27 by another in Baldwin.

“I think it’s the best deal in town,” said Reed of Aldi.

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