The latest Aldi store to open in County Wicklow will take place on Thursday (October 15) in Rathnew, Wicklownews had the chance to speak to Store Manager Jan Brchl ahead of the opening.
I grew up in České Budějovice, the capital city of South Bohemia in southern Czech Republic. In 2008, I figured I needed a change and decided to move to Ireland, which has been home ever since.
My career with Aldi began over nine years ago when I joined our Santry store in Dublin. The local people in Santry were very good to me which I am grateful for as it was a big change from home. I was promoted to Assistant Store Manager after two years, and I gained additional experience working in Aldi’s Celbridge, Co. Kildare and Mulhuddart, Co. Dublin stores.
My introduction to Wicklow began when I started working at Aldi’s Bray store five years ago, taking the position of Store Manager. When the opportunity arose to become part of the new team at Aldi’s new Rathnew store, I was delighted for the opportunity and challenge. I live in Greystones with my partner Katarzyna and my daughter Zuzana so Rathnew is only a stone’s throw away!
Working with Aldi has opened so many doors for me to meet and work with fantastic people who have helped me to improve my management skills. I am very excited to start working at the new Aldi store in Rathnew and getting to know all the local customers in the area. The people I have met so far have been very welcoming!
What challenges have Aldi staff faced over the Covid-19 pandemic and how have they overcome these?
The entire Aldi team in Wicklow and further afield across all our 144 Irish stores have been fantastic in responding to the difficult circumstances. Our stores have been extremely busy which has been hugely challenging, but it has also been very rewarding and satisfying knowing you are a frontline worker ensuring shelves are stocked every day for customers.
I would also like to thank all our customers for being so understanding and patient, and doing their best to adhere to Government and HSE advice.
Opening our new store will obviously be a bit different to usual, mostly due to the safety measures that have been introduced to keep all our staff and customers safe and healthy. For example, we have a traffic light system installed for entry to ensure only a strict number of customers can be in the store at once. We also have markers outside the store to help customers with social distancing while queuing, and sanitising stations when customers enter the store. Customers will also see floor markers at checkouts and Perspex screens at all tills.
As well as this, you’ll see floor staff wearing face coverings, and we encourage customers to do the same as per Government advice.
We’re all in this together, and our staff and customers understand the importance of adhering to these measures. I also know this will be the case in Rathnew as well.
What companies does Aldi work with from Wicklow?
I’m very pleased to say Aldi currently works with four local food and drink producers across Co. Wicklow, one of which has been supplying our business for almost 20 years now.
These include Glenhaven Foods Ltd. in Arklow, which has been supplying Aldi since 2000, while NutriQuick in Blessington has worked with Aldi for over a year. O’Hanlon Herbs based in Glenealy has been supplying Aldi for the past nine years. Janet’s Country Fayre of Kilcoole recently began supplying Aldi with its Original, Basil and Garlic & Spice Pizza Base Sauces and, as a result of its success through our Grow with Aldi programme, has agreed a new 12-month contract to supply all 144 Aldi stores nationwide.
Our Grow with Aldi supplier programme helps small and artisan Irish suppliers develop their product for sale with Aldi, and it’s something I would encourage local producers to get in touch and find out more about.
What will the new store bring to Rathnew and the surrounding areas?
Customers in Wicklow can look forward to a fantastic shopping experience in a new, state-of-the-art store powered by 100% green electricity. We also have bicycle racks available for those wishing to cycle and shop.
It also brings employment to the area, as 13 of our team are from the locality.
We’re proud to say we’ll be stocking an award-winning selection of products, and our customers can rest assured we won’t be beaten on price.
We’re also looking forward to getting involved in the local community through our various CSR programmes, sponsorships and supplier supports. We currently work with a number of national organisations, including FoodCloud and Foróige which both have services in Co. Wicklow. To date, Aldi’s stores in Co. Wicklow have donated an amazing 25,000 meals to local charities, saving the charities more than €32,000.
We’re also involved in helping local charities through our Community Grants programme, where each Aldi store gives charities a €500 donation. In the past year, we’ve helped charities such as Arklow Cancer Support, Blessington Day Care Centre, Purple House Cancer Support in Bray and Greystones Cancer Support. We’re always looking for new ways to engage with local communities and strengthen ties!
When is the new store opening and what can customers expect?
Over the coming months, Aldi customers can rest assured that our staff are here to help. 13 of our staff were hired locally so you might recognise some familiar faces! Customers at our new Rathnew store can expect a range of great quality products at fantastic prices.
We will always be on hand to help and from all the staff at Aldi’s new store in Rathnew, we look forward to hearing from customers and seeing everyone in store!
Aldi’s new store in Rathnew opens Thursday, October 15th. It will be located at the Village Centre and will be open:
- Monday – Friday: 9am – 10pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 9pm