(May 29, 12:04 p.m.) Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi Inc. plans to break ground on a new distribution center in north Texas for a planned entry to the market.

Spokeswoman Martha Swaney said the retailer plans to start building a $40 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Denton by the end of June. Denton is about 40 miles north of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Swaney said it usually takes 12 to 18 months from the start of construction to completion.

The distribution center is being built to serve about 25 stores planned for the Texas market. Opening dates for those stores are to be decided later this year, she said.

“Aldi looks forward to becoming a long-term member of the Texas community and has been well received as it has entered new markets like Rhode Island this year,” she said. “Aldi will be opening its first Texas stores in the coming years.”

The company is finishing construction on a distribution center in Haines City, Fla. It is scheduled to open in September, serving 25 new stores in central Florida.

The German retailer opened its first stores in the U.S. in 1976. In 2008, it plans to open more than 100 new stores. The deep-discounter’s shopper loyalty has helped boost the number of openings lately, Swaney said. The stores sell more than 1,300 of the most frequently purchased fresh produce and grocery items, she said.

Most of its products are sold under private labels.

Aldi has more than 900 stores in 28 states and entered two new markets this year — Rhode Island and Florida.

Higher food prices have more consumers looking to Aldi to save money.

“Aldi shoppers find about 90% of their average weekly shopping list at up to 50% less than competitors,” Swaney said.

A typical Aldi store carries 40-50 fresh produce stock-keeping units, Swaney said.