|Today's post highlights DeSoto County, MS, retail.|
Since many of you are likely all too familiar with your local grocery stores this time of year, what with Thanksgiving just days away, for this post I thought I would showcase a non-traditional grocer which opened a new store in Olive Branch, MS, on July 23, 2014
. Aldi, for those of you unfamiliar with them, is a German discount supermarket chain whose US stores offer similar but off-brand popular items as a way to keep prices low. The Olive Branch location is DeSoto County's second, following a relatively long-established Southaven store.
Some night shots of the store's exterior as we prepare to head inside...
Here are a few looks down the main aisle upon entering. The way the store is designed, you must pass through this aisle in order to access the rest of the salesfloor. Note how the décor incorporates the "A" logo symbol.
An example of an Aldi product. Obviously a knock-off version of brand-name Rice Crispy Treats, but I suppose you shouldn't knock 'em until you've tried 'em! (I haven't, so I can't speak to them either way, haha!)
A quick peek at the décor in the back left corner of the store, as well as a look down the second aisle, the left half of which is home to a changing selection of seasonal merchandise (i.e. not strictly just food).
Beyond the seasonal aisle, in the rear center of the store, is Aldi's produce selection. Produce isn't necessarily brand-name stuff, so if you're skeptical about the other products, at least you shouldn't have to worry about the produce! Personally, my favorite items at Aldi come from their cheese selection, which is located in the back right corner of the store - an area I, for whatever reason, did not get pics of. Maybe it's so popular a crowd of people was blocking me from getting the shot, lol!
A closer look at the changeable produce price signage (which I think is very cool!), as well as a look across the store back toward the front from produce. This store is consistently well-organized and well-kept, as these photos convey.
Here you're looking at a shelf housing the store's fresh bread selection in the top photo, and some coffin cooler freezer cases dedicated to special deals in the bottom photo.
Some more décor along the right-side wall, which is home to dairy and frozen. It feels very modern in here.
Finally from the interior of the store, a shot of the checkout lanes. Notice along the front wall of the store is a counter. Aldi is able to keep its prices so low not only through its selection of off-brand items but also because its cashiers do not bag any items. Boxes are available for customers, similar to what one might find at Sam's Club or Costco, to do that themselves along that front counter if they desire.
Headed back outside, it's suddenly daytime now (!), as we take a look at some parting shots of the store. This Aldi isn't the only thing that's opened in growing Olive Branch over the past few years! In fact, much more retail has been developed, not least of which is Olive Branch Crossing
. The remainder of this post explores some of that new development before ending with an update on Olive Branch Crossing's second phase of construction.
|Popeye's is located beside Aldi to the right (east)...|
|...and a strip center, pictured above under construction in May 2015, to the left (west).|
|Another shot of the strip center under construction, joined by a Corky's BBQ location on the left edge of the pic|
|Fast-forward to March 2016, when we find the strip center open and with healthy crowds. Mellow Mushroom is the closest tenant to Aldi.|
|Another major tenant in the center is Paisley Pineapple, an existing Olive Branch retailer that moved from another, older location across the street.|
|The majority of this development was spurred by the construction of this Malco Cinema, which opened just before Christmas 2013. (Apparently I've been holding on to these photographs and news items for some time!)|
|A shot of the Malco at sunset. Like OB's Aldi, this is DeSoto County's second Malco; the first is another long-established Southaven location.|
|Farther west from the Malco/Aldi area, we find continued development in the "Target corridor," an area of retail growth spurred by the 2008 opening of DeSoto County's second Target (except this time the first was in Horn Lake, not Southaven!).|
|This is a December 2015 look at the same strip center seen under construction above in October 2015. Sprint relocated from elsewhere in Olive Branch; many of the other stores were new to the city.|
|The Great American Sleep Shop is the main left corner anchor of the center. This shot takes a look beyond its storefront to the adjoining strip center, which preceded its offshoot center that we've been focusing on.|
|Also near the OB Target, the southwest corner of Goodman and Pleasant Hill Roads, seen under construction here in October 2015...|
|...was developed into a Mapco gas station by early 2016. Prior to this being built, there weren't really any other gas stations located immediately close-by this now-major shopping area.|
|A look at the Mapco from the signaled intersection. Note the neat curved canopy!|
|A better look at the curved canopy, likely required due to the elevation and layout of the property. I think it adds some character!|
|Mapco wasn't the only one looking to take advantage of the relative lack of gas stations in the immediate area, as seen here in November 2015!|
|Pop's Express, a local convenience store chain, began building at the next intersection of Pleasant Hill Road south of the previously-pictured Mapco soon after that last photo was taken, and was pretty far along by July 2016 as can be seen here.|
|One year and four days since my first Pop's Express Pleasant Hill photo was taken, the convenience store and its Shell-branded gas station looked just about ready to open! Additional retail bays are available for lease, too.|
|Finally, as promised, here's an update on Olive Branch Crossing. The Fresh Market began construction early this year, with a projected - and highly incorrect! - opening of spring 2016, according to that sign out front.|
|Luckily, that sign had been corrected to say "spring 2017" by the time of my next photo two months later! It should be a lot easier to meet that deadline :P|
|A closer look at the storefront as it took shape in August 2016 (same date as the previous pic), as seen through a break in the construction fence.|
|Last but not least, my most recent look at the Olive Branch Crossing Fresh Market store, taken just this month, shows the construction fencing has been removed, the store's exterior has been all but completed, and even the roadside pylon has been installed, awaiting its signage. Once the store does open, I'll likely get some photos eventually, and will also likely put them up here on the blog...|
I hope you enjoyed this post, everyone! Unfortunately, even though I was hoping to do a December post, this may well wind up being my last one of the year - this time not due to time constraints (although as always, that does play a role) so much as a lack of content!! I'll try to stock up on ideas/photos for future posts over the rest of the year, and definitely plan on having a new post go up in January. But in the meantime... if this is the last you hear from me (on the blog, anyway!) until 2017, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, and that you continue to have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are! :)