Hold onto your lucky quarters. Aldi is going big.
The spunky and funky German-owned chain plans to open 70+ new stores by the end of 2020 as it vies to become the No. 3 US grocer — right behind Walmart and Kroger.
It ain’t your average discount store
~90% of Aldi’s wares are private-label, which keeps prices low. Like Costco, it stocks far fewer items than other big grocers (~1.4k vs. tens of thousands).
It also delegates the dirty work — customers bag the goods and wrangle the carts. Somehow, the simple act of depositing a quarter to borrow a cart compels shoppers to return them to their corrals instead of leaving them in the parking lot.
And that’s not the only thing shoppers find compelling.
Bargain buys on organic produce and European sweets are obviously appealing, and the Aldi Finds section peddles unexpected treasures like chainsaws and inflatable sumo suits.
And Aldi superfans love ‘em
Aldi stans stand 2.6m on Facebook. They proudly wear their Aldi Nerds T-shirts and tote their cart quarters in cute pouches.
They swap tales of grocery white whales like the everything-but-the-bagel seasoning and the frozen chicken in the red bag.
An expansion? During a pandemic?
Corona-related stressors like rising food prices and unemployment have driven spending up ~10% at traditional grocers. This could make discount chains like Aldi appealing.
But are you ready to go Euro style? Aldi hopes you’ll say ach ja.
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