But 2 minimalist German grocers have been growing in the US thanks to their no-frills approach.
- Aldi has 2k+ stores in the US across 36 states.
- Lidl has 11.5k+ stores worldwide. It expanded to the US in 2017, where it now operates 150+ locations.
In March, Aldi enjoyed an 8% YoY increase in foot traffic, and a 6.1% increase compared to March 2019, per location analytics company Placer.ai.
During that same period, Lidl saw an 11.9% YoY increase — and a 78.1% increase compared to March 2019.
Why do people love these stores?
They’re cheap! Dunnhumby’s annual US Grocery Retailer Preference Index (RPI) survey found Aldi to be the cheapest store (Lidl placed 6th). Its tactics include:
- Few brand names — 90% of its products are private label.
- A smaller selection of products, which equals smaller stores.
- No fancy displays, just products, thus fewer workers and less time spent making LaCroix art.
- Shopping cart rentals. Customers pay a 25-cent deposit to unlock a cart, incentivizing them to return it themselves.
Lidl has larger stores, more products, and bakeries. But it still cuts costs via similar thrifty strategies, like selling products straight out of the boxes they came in.
And with inflation at a 40-year high, it’s no surprise these stores are attracting fans.
No, but for real: Aldi actually has its own fan club called the Aisle of Shame.
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