HAINES CITY, Fla., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- ALDI, a discount grocer that offers customers a smart alternative for select, quality items, was joined by Haines City Mayor Philip Hinkle and the Haines City Economic Development Council at the groundbreaking for the company's Florida headquarters and distribution center. The facilities will support 25 new stores opening in central Florida in fall 2008 and employ about 100 people. "We're looking forward to becoming a part of the central Florida community and bringing great food and good jobs to the area," said David Behm, ALDI division vice president. "Grocery customers can expect a bill up to 50 percent less than anywhere they shop now, and employees can expect a great working environment with well-paying jobs. We're excited to bring these benefits to the area as we continue our expansion all along the East Coast." The $40 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center will service stores in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando areas that will begin opening in September. On average, jobs for ALDI's headquarters and distribution center locations will pay more than 125 percent of a typical Polk County-area job. "We are thrilled to welcome ALDI to the heart of Florida, and we're pleased that they have selected Haines City to anchor its operations here," said Hinkle. "Known for low price alternatives, ALDI also has a track record as a strong community partner, and we look forward to working with them as a key business in Haines City." ALDI is able to save consumers up to 50 percent on 90 percent of their everyday purchases through business practices such as having shoppers bring or purchase recyclable bags and use the cart deposit system where customers use a quarter to retrieve a cart and get a quarter refunded when they return the cart to the corral at the end of their shopping trip. "ALDI is the kind of business Florida needs," said Haines City Economic Development Council President, Paul Senft. "There's a reason they're growing. They are a brand communities and customers can trust. ALDI will be an outstanding addition to the Central Florida community because they have a reputation for being a great corporate citizen and partner." Known for its high quality, private label brands, ALDI is able to offer these popular alternatives without forcing consumers to buy in bulk. Shoppers can expect to find everything from the best in fresh fruits and meats, frozen foods, and dairy and bakery products to canned goods, paper products and boxed goods. About ALDI ALDI is a leader in the international grocery retailing industry having entered the U.S. market in 1976. Today nearly 900 U.S. ALDI stores are located in 26 states from Kansas to the East Coast. In its 2007 report, Supermarket News ranked ALDI 24th in U.S. grocery chains in gross sales. ALDI's smart and efficient operational and business practices are why its customers save up to 50 percent on 90 percent of their everyday purchases, including about 1,000 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items. For more information about ALDI, go to http://www.aldi.com. About the Haines City Economic Development Council Since 2002, the Haines City EDC has worked continuously to secure investment in the community. The Council works in partnership with investors from business sectors such as industry, community organizations, education, finance, agriculture, government and public interest groups. The EDC's members are united by a sustainability practice via economy, environment and equity. For more information about the Haines City EDC, go to http://www.hainescityedc.com.