NEW IBERIA — A German grocery store chain will soon fill a vacant spot in a New Iberia strip mall where the department store Stage once stood before it closed it's doors about a year ago.
Local businesses in that strip mall are excited about the influx of people the new grocery store will bring to the area.
"To see the parking lot fill back up again and just to see the traffic going into that space again will be so nice," says Brittany Patout, the manager for All About You Boutique. "It's too big of a building to stay empty like that and we really hope that is will bring a lot more people down here and keep a crowd flowing through."
Patout says that she has seen more traffic flow in that area near her store in the past few years, and the President and CEO of Iberian Industrial Development Foundation, Mike Tarantino, agrees.
"That area of New Iberia has experienced a lot of retail growth, and a lot of retail companies are interested in the kinds of sales and business that the area can bring," he says. "I think Aldi is a perfect fit for New Iberia and Iberia Parish because it has a great product."
Tarantino says that most people living in the area are loyal to their specific brands and the places that they normally shop at, but the Parish President, Larry Richard, is hoping that the store will give people in Iberia Parish more choices when it comes to grocery shopping.
"I think what this is going to do is give people more of a variety of where they want to shop and what they want to shop for," says Richard. "We want people to come here and be able to do different things, see different things and not have to go to the same place all the time."
Mayor of New Iberia Freddie DeCourt says that he is unsure of an exact date that the grocery store will open to the public, but businesses in the area continue to hope that it will be open before Christmas.
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