By: Andrea Browne Taylor – kiplinger.com – February 27, 2019
For many shoppers who are serious about spending less on groceries, a trip to discount supermarket Aldi is a weekly ritual. The chain, founded in Germany, credits its rock-bottom prices to low labor and operating costs, a limited selection of mostly inexpensive private brands, and a no-frills store design. Merchandise is often stacked in the aisles and sold straight from the cardboard box it was shipped in. Essentially, it’s a grocery store that’s the size of a convenience store.
If there isn’t an Aldi near you, don’t be surprised if one pops up soon. With 1,800 stores already up-and-running in 35 states, the discount grocery chain has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy. It includes dedicating $5 billion to remodeling existing storefronts and expanding to 2,500 stores nationwide by 2022. Aldi is also increasing its fresh food selection by 40% with vegan options, organic meats and refrigerated beverages. Never shopped at Aldi before? Here’s what you need to know before your first trip.
Trader Joe’s and Aldi are owned by sister companies Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud. Aldi Nord owns Trader Joe’s, which it acquired in 1979, and operates Aldi stores in Europe. Aldi Sud operates Aldi stores in the U.S. The first one opened in Iowa in 1976.
Aldi was founded in Germany by brothers Albert and Theo Albrecht. The brand name is a combination of the first two letters of their last name and the first two letters of the word discount. The brothers, now deceased, launched their grocery empire right after World War II, but chose to split the business in 1961 reportedly due to a dispute over whether to sell cigarettes.
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