The Brookfield Hillbillies
Alert the police! Put the National Guard on standby! Lock up the tennis courts and drain the "cement ponds"! The Clampett's are coming to Brookfield - unless the Town Board and the Plan Commission can stop them!
Aldi's is a discount grocery store chain with roughly 20 locations in Southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to several stores in the City of Milwaukee, Aldi's also has stores in Cudahy, Oak Creek, Greenfield, Brown Deer, Port Washington, Sheboygan, Racine and Kenosha. Aldi's now wants to open a new 17,500 square-foot store in the Bluemound Plaza on the corner of Bluemound and Janacek roads.
However, if the Plan Commission and, apparently the Town Chairman have their way, Aldi's will not be welcome in the Town of Brookfield. This is because several officials have concerns about the "type of customers" that Aldi's would attract to the tres chic Bluemound Plaza. This is, of course, the same Bluemound Plaza that currently is home to a Best Buy and a George Webb's restaurant (you know, the place with the two clock's on the wall).
Until this latest brouhaha, I had never been to an Aldi's. Just to see what all the commotion was all about, I steeled my courage and visited not one but two Aldi's over the last few days. In order to maximize my safety, I told my wife where I was going and instructed her to call the cops if she didn't hear from me in an hour.
Candidly, I don't think I'd be a regular Aldi's shopper. At this point in my life, I'm not big on paying to use shopping carts or bagging my own groceries. At the same time, for a lot of similar reasons, I'm not a Sam's Club or Costco guy either.
That said, the two Aldi's stores I visited were clean, well-lit and apparently very popular. There was nothing about either the stores themselves or the customers that made me feel unsafe, Actually, I think the biggest risk to my health would have been if I had given into temptation and purchased the industrial size box of Oreo cookie knockoffs.
If you're willing to sacrifice some convenience and a certain level of service in exchange for price, I could see why Aldi's might be your type of place. The same would apply if you're into generic brands or need to buy enormous quantities of disposable diapers or paper towels.
I'm a Sendik's guy myself - but to each their own.
The Aldi's people have research that shows that a great number of people from the Town of Brookfield currently travel outside of Town limits to patronize other Aldi's stores in the area. Keep in mind that this occurs even though Governor Doyle continues to refuse to allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms to protect themselves. In any event, if their market research is accurate, it seems that there's already a pre-existing demand for a store like Aldi's.
In another life, I spent a lot of time investigating and prosecuting criminal gangs. If it makes Brookfield officials feel better, I'm reasonably confident that the Gangster Disciples won't be coming out to take over Bluemound Plaza. If they want to extend their turf to an Aldi's, there are lots of options much closer to home!
Beyond this, the proposed Aldi's would occupy a vacant building that formerly housed a Gander Mountain store. Let's think this through. What would be better for Bluemound Plaza? A thriving discount grocery store or a vacant building? Hmmm? It really doesn't seem like a close call.
All kidding aside, this really seems to be a ridiculous debate. I seriously doubt that letting Aldi's operate a store in Bluemound Plaza will result in the neighboring George Webb's being overrun by either gangsters or hillbillies.
I mean really, Aldi's doesn't even sell possum!