Discount grocer Aldi Inc. plans to open its first store in the New York City metropolitan area in early 2011.

The company plans to open the store in Queens. So far, this is the only store New York City store in the works, said Heather Tarzcan, a spokeswoman for the Batavia, Ill.-based chain.

“We are always looking for new opportunities to grow, but at this time we do not have additional New York City stores planned,” she said.

Aldi stepped up its aggressive growth pattern in the past two years. It went from opening 20 to 30 stores a year to 80 to 100 over a three-year stint, starting in 2008. It operates more than 1,000 stores in 31 states.

Tarczan said the company plans to open about 100 new stores in 2010. In March, it premiered a new distribution center in Denton, Texas, and opened 27 new stores in the North Texas market so far this year.  

In 2009, the company opened 80 new stores and in 2008, it opened 100, including a new division and distribution center in Haines City, Fla.

A typical Aldi store is about 10,000 square feet and carries about 1,400 stock-keeping units, most of which are private labels.

The chain carries about 50 of the most common produce SKUs, depending on season and availability.