Aldi adding space in its stores for more fresh food

Aldi's larger produce section. The company said in February 2017 that it  plans to spend $1.6 billion to expand and remodel 1,300 stores by 2020.(Aldi)

Discount grocer Aldi is remodeling and expanding its Texas stores as part of a nationwide $1.6 billion spending plan to make its stores bigger.

Walls are coming down in older stores to add about 10 to 20 percent more space. Aldi said that it would remodel 1,300 of its 1,600 stores over the next three years.

At about 18,000-square-feet, Aldi stores are smaller than the average supermarket. In the remodeling stores are getting new refrigerated cases and will grow by about 1,000 to 1,500 square feet to make room for more fresh foods including produce, dairy, meat and baked good.

Any store more than six months old will be remodeled, Huska said.  Stores have been adding more organic produce and meat and other items customers have been asking for. Last week, Texas stores added never-frozen tilapia and Atlantic salmon. About 90 percent are still Aldi brands, but some other brands are being added.  Shiner Bock Beer was added a few months ago, for example, Huska said, and it’s been a big hit with customers.

Last year, Aldi also started accepting credit cards.