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Offering Higher Wages, Aldi Brings New Meaning To 'Discount'

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The discount grocery store Aldi is opening up four new locations in South Florida: Palm Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hialeah and Miami Gardens. In order to staff those locations, the discount grocer is holding hiring fairs throughout the area on Jan. 15 and 16.

Though it looks like a typical grocery store on the outside, a few things inside might throw you off your shopping routine. The first thing you’ll probably do is try to grab a cart. At Aldi, you have to rent it. The $.25 asking price isn’t much, but it's one of the many differences between this and any other grocery store.

The quarter, in case you were wondering, ensures you return your cart to its place, so the store doesn’t have to hire someone else for that task. You get it back at the end.

Inside, there are only about 1,400 kinds of products -- significantly less than at other grocers. But don’t fret, “ you’ll still find 90 to 95 percent of what is on your grocery shopping list,” says Chris Hewitt, vice president of Aldi in South Florida.

Another Aldi hallmark are the wages. Cashiers get $10.50 an hour and anyone who works more than 20 hours a week is eligible for health benefits. Though not quite the $12 or even $15 some workers-rights organizations have called for recently, still more than Florida’s minimum $7.79-per-hour minimum wage.

There’s a growing number of these discount grocers here in South Florida, and several in low-income neighborhoods. But if you think about visiting one, don’t forget to bring your own bags: Aldi charges for theirs.