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Logo Aldi Nord Logo Aldi Süd
legal form Two conglomerates of unaffiliated companies
founding 1913 (under the name Aldi since 1962)
Seat GermanyGermany Essen (Aldi Nord), Mülheim an der Ruhr (Aldi Süd)
management Torsten Hufnagel (Aldi North)
Norbert Podschlapp (Aldi South)
Number of employees 60,000 (Aldi Nord) in 8 European countries

156,899 (Aldi Süd) in 11 countries worldwide

sales 21.8 billion euros (Aldi Nord, 2015)
59 billion euros (Aldi Süd, 2019)
Branch Grocery retail

Original Aldi at Huestraße 89 in Essen-Schonnebeck , 2006
Albrecht branch, 1958

Aldi (proper spelling ALDI stands for Al brecht Di Skønt) refers to the two discount -Einzelhandelsketten Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd . These are two separate corporate groups , each consisting of several dozen independent regional companies. Aldi is one of the ten largest retail groups worldwide.


Beginnings 1913-1945

Karl Albrecht Sr. (1886–1943), the father of Theo (1922–2010) and Karl Albrecht (1920–2014), was a trained baker until he had to give up this work for health reasons ( baker's asthma ). In the spring of 1913 he came to prominence as bread traders independently , and his wife Anna Albrecht (born Siepmann) opened her husband on 10 April 1913 under the name of a mom and pop shop in Essen-Schonnebeck (Huestraße 89). In the early years, wine was bottled from barrels, sugar and flour came from sacks. The customers were served personally by saleswomen. Self-service was still completely unusual at that time.

Post-war period 1945–1961

In 1945 Karl and Theo took over their parents' family business, which Anna Albrecht had run alone in the last two years of the war after the death of her husband from 1943. After the currency reform in 1948, the Albrecht brothers converted their mother's corner shop with a new concept. The concept was to ensure the basic food supply with a minimal range and low prices. The first branch outside the city of Essen opened in 1954. In that year, the main store on Huestraße 89 in Essen-Schonnebeck was redesigned into the first self-service shop. In 1955 the then Albrecht KG had a branch network with 100 locations in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Albrecht brothers were already wealthy millionaires at that time .

Division into north and south 1961

Albrecht branch in Memmingen , around 1968

In 1961 the Albrecht brothers decided to go their separate ways from then on: they divided the Albrecht KG company into Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd . Theo Albrecht took over the northern branches and Karl Albrecht the southern ones. In 1961 (in the year of the split), Karl and Theo Albrecht already operated 300 branches in West Germany with gross sales of around 90 million marks. At that time there were already two separate administrations and regional warehouses (from Theo Albrecht in Herten , from Karl Albrecht in Mülheim an der Ruhr ), in the same year Anna Albrecht, the mother of the Albrecht brothers, left the company. The reason for separation has been reported on various occasions that the brothers could not agree on the sale of cigarettes (cigarettes have only been available from Aldi Süd since 2003 ). The journalist Martin Kuhna argues that cigarettes were sold before 1961 and could therefore not be the reason. Rather, he suspects that the reasons lie in the different leadership styles. Theo Albrecht tended towards micromanagement , while his brother Karl delegated responsibility early on.

Expansion as a pure discounter from 1962

As a result of the self-service in food retailing , which was emerging in West Germany, sales stagnated in the approximately 300 very small service shops (also known as parlor shops) for the Albrecht brothers in the early 1960s. This type of distribution no longer had a future and lost sales to the large supermarket chains such as Edeka and Rewe . From 1960, Karl and Theo Albrecht also turned to the supermarket distribution type and experimented with around 20 to 30 Albrecht supermarkets. The shops had a sales area of ​​around 150 to 200 m² and, in addition to a medium-sized range of dry goods, also sold fresh goods such as fruit and vegetables, dairy products, sausage products and fresh meat (for fresh meat, the Albrecht brothers relied on the large butcher shop RUOS from Essen as a partner). The test with these Albrecht supermarkets failed because neither in terms of shop sizes nor in terms of the variety of assortments was it equal to the full-range competition that had since rushed away. These stores, still tested under the red Albrecht logo, were soon closed again or could be used a short time later after being redesigned to Aldi-Discount.

Under the pressure of a total reorientation, Karl and Theo Albrecht developed the idea of ​​a food discount ; they gave their stores the name "ALDI" ( AL -brecht DI -scount) for this form of distribution, which was completely new for Europe .

“The Aldi principle was born out of necessity. The small shops that the two brothers had set up in the workers' settlements after the war no longer ran. The attempted way out of this bottleneck situation, also to open supermarkets, failed because it was half-hearted. The Aldi Discount really came into being as a poor people's shop. "

- Walter Vieth, 2018.

The basic business idea behind this new type of distribution can be paraphrased with the phrase “Discount is the art of leaving things out”. Compared to the then market-leading supermarkets, the Albrecht brothers simply left out a whole range of the service functions of retail distribution that were common at the time. Aldi conclusion: no broad and deeply graded assortments (only fast-moving basic foodstuffs, no duplicates), no perishable fresh goods (thus no costly maintenance, no service, no expensive refrigerated cabinets, low energy consumption), no price label on each item (the cashiers had the prices , summarized in relatively few price groups, to be memorized, to be called up later using PLU numbers), no unpacking of the goods (sales were made from the cut-open shipping boxes), no expensive shop fittings (pallets or self-made wooden shelves were sold), no shop decorations and advertising, no credit sales, no discount stamps customary at the time . The tightly staffed branch staff was trained for all work that came up so that they were constantly busy when there was a high workload. This omission of essential retail functions brought the Aldi stores great cost advantages over the supermarket competition.

These cost advantages made it possible for Aldi to offer consumers great price advantages despite a profit that was well calculated from the start. The first attempts with such discount stores took place in 1961 in the Aldi Nord area in Dortmund, later in the Dortmund and Bochum area. The "Discount" sales type went into series production at Aldi Süd with the first store (management Horst Steinfeld, Managing Director Aldi Mülheim). Walter Vieth (then head of the western Ruhr area / Lower Rhine district) was responsible for organizing the openings and managing these first Aldi branches. From 1962 onwards, the first ALDI discount stores were opened on a weekly basis and in this order, using former Albrecht supermarkets: Dinslaken (Neustraße), Walsum (Friedrich-Ebert-Straße), Bocholt (Nordstraße) and Wesel (Hohe Straße).

The customers accepted the new, very inexpensive Aldi stores in a very short time. The sales performance per employee was almost ten times higher than in the Albrecht supermarkets. The sales and return values ​​of the first series stores and the rapid acceptance of these stores by consumers were so convincing that the Albrecht brothers were able to start the national multiplication a few months after opening these first stores. The capital required for this probably one-time expansion was generated by the discount system itself. Due to the rapid turnover of goods (around ten days - “ fast-moving ”), cash payments in the shops and the usual payment terms for manufacturers (30 days), there was always enough liquidity to finance the expansion without bank loans. The introduction of a new logistics structure to quickly supply the markets with a large warehouse in Eichenau promoted the development. The headquarters in Eichenau then also became the seat of the family foundations.

With the invention of the Aldi stores, Karl and Theo Albrecht succeeded in what is probably the most successful retail innovation of the 20th century; the range and store size have been carefully expanded to this day; the basic principle "Discount is the art of omitting" (handed down after the former Aldi-Nord managing director Dieter Brandes) still applies.

Branch remodeling 2016–2020

Fruit and vegetable stand at Aldi Süd after modernization, 2017

From the 2000s onwards, all the major discounters in Germany had “invested massively in improving their range.” “The discount concept once developed by the Aldi brothers - stores with a small range and good value for money -” has been further developed by the competition. "Rewe and Edeka offer many products just as cheaply as Aldi, but complement the range with products from the delicatessen category." "Discounts no longer work the way they did 30 years ago." [...] Good prices alone are no longer enough, ”says Aldi Marketing Director Kay Rüschoff. Today (2017) customers would expect more freshness, more choice and “sometimes something special”.

In order to catch up with the competition from discounters and supermarkets again, after a two-year test phase, Aldi Süd (since May 2016) and Aldi Nord (since autumn 2017) have both started with the "largest investment program in the company's history". The shops will be given a new design and the content will be improved.

Reconstruction of Aldi Süd

Aldi Süd intends to invest around 3.5 billion euros in Germany by 2020 in order to “modernize” its 1900 branches.

With the new store design, an “end of the warehouse atmosphere” “with cold neon light” is to be achieved. Instead of the traditional pallets with torn cardboard boxes, shelves are now also common at Aldi, some with imitation wood paneling. The price tags are no longer hanging over the goods, but are now directly on the shelf. LED lamps specifically illuminate the respective product range. The “Aufback” machines will be “ gradually ” phased out over the next few years and, as with the other competitors, Rewe and Lidl, will be replaced by a bread counter with folding doors made of transparent Plexiglas. At the same time, Aldi Süd is increasing the number of types of baked goods from a maximum of 15 types of bread and rolls to "up to 40 items that are freshly baked by the employees in the branch." Aldi Süd continues to limit the entire range of products to 1200 items . In comparison, a large Rewe branch has “almost ten times as many articles”. Further additional offers are individually portable quantities of fruit and vegetables (cash register), coffee machines z. Some with seating at the exit and - in most branches - customer toilets.

After the modernization of all Aldi-Süd branches, the 35,000 employees in the branches are to receive "new and more modern" uniforms. To this end, Aldi Süd entered into a collaboration with the AMD Akademie Mode & Design in Munich in the 2017/18 winter semester. With a design competition among the students, the garments were designed according to Aldi’s wishes, from which a clothing ensemble was ultimately selected.

Reconstruction of Aldi Nord

Compared to its rivals Aldi Süd and Lidl, Aldi Nord threatened to fall further and further. "For many years the discounter had invested too little in modernization and reacted too late to new trends." That is why the Aldi-Nord Group is also implementing a "modernization program" with the Aldi Nord Instore Concept (ANIKo). In total, the redesign of the 2250 Aldi-Nord branches should cost 5.2 billion euros and be completed by the beginning of 2019. This will be followed by the redesign of around 2,400 stores in other European countries. Since no explicit cost reduction programs are known, observers suggest that the conversion costs will only be offset by the higher sales expected later. The standard range from Aldi Nord was around 1400 items in the 2017 financial year. In contrast to the new Aldi-Süd branches, there are hinged refrigerated wall shelves and wall refrigerators above the freezers. Large signs and different shelf colors make orientation easier, the latter is also a new feature compared to Aldi Süd. In contrast to Aldi Süd, the coffee machine is located at the entrance area, and the coffee mug can be taken in a holder on the shopping cart.

Torsten Hufnagel is considered to be the inventor of the ANIKo modernization program , with Aldi since 1997 and Head of the Board of Directors of Aldi Nord since September 2018. Babette Albrecht from the Jakobus Foundation initially questioned the project and took a long time in 2017 to review the investment program . The Jakobus Foundation has been in a legal dispute with the other two Aldi-Nord foundations for years.

At the beginning of September 2018, Marc Heussinger , the previous head of Aldi Nord , announced “surprisingly” . Heussinger made "an unusually brisk career for Aldi": In 1998, after completing his doctorate, he joined Aldi and in 2011 after 13 years was appointed head of the company. He introduced many innovations for Aldi such as more publicity (press office), more advertising and more investments. Most recently, according to employees, he complained about criticism and mistrust on the part of the Jakobus Foundation. Only the family line around Theo Albrecht's sister-in-law Babette Albrecht had again claimed a long time before Heussinger was expressed trust for another five years at the end of 2017.

While in the first half of 2018 sales in the branch renovation with temporary closings stagnated and decreased by 0.2%, sales of Aldi Süd rose by 3.3% and Lidl even increased by 6.8%. In response to Heußingers retreat Aldi internally has only been rumored that he had not driven the restructuring of Aldi stores fast enough and made too little revenue.


Assortment of goods in open boxes, 2015

Ownership structure and shareholders

Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are wholly owned by family foundations .

In 1973, Karl Albrecht founded the Siepmann Foundation , which holds 75% of Aldi Süd. Main beneficiaries (beneficiaries) of Siepmann Foundation are family members of Beate Heister (only daughter of Aldi-South founder Karl Albrecht).

In the same year, the Markus Foundation was established for Aldi Nord by Theodor Paul Albrecht and later the Lukas and Jakobus Foundation, all based in Nortorf . These hold the shares in Aldi Nord and Trader Joe’s . The main destinaries of the Aldi-Nord foundations are descendants of Theodor Paul Albrecht. They receive donations from the foundations, which in turn feed off of the Aldi-Nord income.

Important decisions at Aldi Nord must be made unanimously by the three foundation boards. The board of directors of the Markus Foundation is also the controlling body for the administrative board, which forms the management of Aldi Nord. The Markus Foundation is on the board of Theo Albrecht jun. directed. The board also includes Torsten Hufnagel (Aldi-Nord managing director) and the lawyer Emil Huber. According to a report by Manager Magazin , the Aldi-Nord shares of the foundations and their beneficiaries are as follows:

Foundation, endowment Beneficiaries Aldi Nord domestic share Share of Aldi North abroad
James Babette Albrecht and her five children 19.5% 50%
Luke Theo Albrecht junior as well as his wife and daughter 19.5% 50%
Markus Only direct descendants of Theo Albrecht (1922–2010): Theo Albrecht junior with daughter and the five children of Babette Albrecht 61.0% 0%

Corporate governance

In 1961, Karl and Theo Albrecht separated the parent company Albrecht KG into the current companies Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd . Theo Albrecht junior is the only member of the Albrecht family who is still active in the discounter group. Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are run exclusively by non-family managers. The operational management of Aldi Nord consists of a board of directors based in Essen. Aldi Süd is headed by a coordination council from Mülheim an der Ruhr.

  • The Aldi Süd coordination council is headed by Norbert Podschlapp, Michael Kloeters (until September 2019) and Thomas Ziegler. The management duo Matthew Barnes and Thomas Ziegler were appointed as successors to the triumvirate from May 2020.
  • The Board of Directors of Aldi Nord consists of Theo Albrecht junior, Oliver Elsner and Torsten Hufnagel.

The two corporate groups are on friendly terms and coordinate their business policy together in the Aldi corporate committee. The Federal Cartel Office regards Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd as “de facto harmonized groups” within the meaning of Section 18 (2) of the German Stock Corporation Act . Legally, organizationally and, since 1966, also financially, both corporate groups are completely independent of each other. In Germany, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd together comprise 66 regional companies, which in turn control around 4,250 Aldi branches (as of April 2015). The regional companies are often based outside the larger metropolitan areas; they are usually close to a motorway junction in order to increase the efficiency of deliveries to the branches by truck. The regional companies, which are run as limited partnerships (GmbH & Co. KG), are each headed by a regional manager. This reports to the board of directors (Aldi Nord) or the coordination board (Aldi Süd), which acts as a limited partner . The regional manager is supported by the department heads below him. In each regional company there are different departments, for example logistics, administration and IT. The department heads are subordinate to several sales managers (officially regional sales managers) who are each responsible for a sales district of five to seven branches. A sales manager is also a disciplinary superior and manages up to 100 employees. In every Aldi branch there is a branch manager who is responsible for the allocation and management of the branch staff as well as for the disposition of goods, accounting and above all for the achievement of the relevant branch key figures.

A flat organizational hierarchy and simple corporate principles form the corporate mission statement .

The often low prices at Aldi are based on an efficient structure, based on rigorous staff management (with, however, mostly above-average pay ), tight logistics , a strong position (due to a high degree of market power ) vis-à-vis suppliers and spartan presentation of the goods (including for a long time Waiver of television advertising).

In 2016, Aldi Süd began to equip its German branches with higher-quality furnishings and improved quality of stay. Such "luxury branches" are already being operated in America and Australia, in Germany the first branch of this type was opened in Unterhaching . All branches are to be converted accordingly by 2019. In 2016, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd each published a sustainability report for the first time in order to account for their social and ecological responsibility.

Structure Germany

The so-called "Aldi Equator"

The border between Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd (also called Aldi Equator ) runs from Westmünsterland via Mülheim an der Ruhr, Wermelskirchen , Gummersbach (in Gummersbach there are north and south branches), Siegen (in Siegen there are north and south branches Branches, because the Autobahn 45 forms the border), Marburg , east to north of Fulda . The new federal states are (apart from a branch in Sonneberg , Thuringia , which is supplied from Bavaria ) completely Aldi-Nord area.

There are several Aldi companies that take on central tasks such as purchasing and property management for both corporate groups, for example Aldikauf GmbH & Co. oHG . In addition, Aldi also has its own coffee roasters . Aldi Nord operates these in Weyhe and Herten; Aldi Süd's roasting plants are in Mülheim an der Ruhr and in Ketsch.

In 2017, Aldi Süd founded the subsidiary NewCoffee , under which the coffee roasters in Mülheim an der Ruhr and Ketsch operate as an independent subsidiary of the Aldi Süd group of companies.

Structure international

Aldi worldwide: Aldi Nord (blue), Aldi Süd (orange)
Distribution of Aldi in Europe:
  • Aldi north
  • Aldi south
  • Aldi branch in London in the UK
    Aldi sign in Baltimore, USA

    Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are represented worldwide as follows (as of September 10, 2019):

    country Aldi group since Number of branches
    GermanyGermany Germany North 1961 > 2300
    PolandPoland Poland North 2008 > 100
    DenmarkDenmark Denmark North 1977 > 220
    NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands North 1975 > 490
    BelgiumBelgium Belgium North 1973 > 430
    LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg North 1990 > 10
    FranceFrance France North 1988 > 850
    SpainSpain Spain North 2002 > 250
    PortugalPortugal Portugal North 2006 > 40
    United StatesUnited States United States Trader Joe’s (North) 1979 397
    GermanyGermany Germany south 1962 circa 1910
    SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Hofer (south) 2005 approx. 200
    AustriaAustria Austria Hofer (south) 1968 approx. 510
    ItalyItaly Italy south 2018 approx. 60
    SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia Hofer (south) 2005 approx. 90
    HungaryHungary Hungary south 2008 about 140
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom south 1990 about 840
    IrelandIreland Ireland south 1998 about 140
    China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China south 2017 2
    AustraliaAustralia Australia south 2001 approx. 540
    United StatesUnited States United States south 1976 circa 1890

    The market entry in Greece by Aldi Süd (responsible for Hofer) in November 2008 was reversed at the end of December 2010 due to the lack of success. New expansion countries are alternately divided between Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord and the distribution is agreed jointly. For the market entry of Aldi Süd in China, Aldi Nord is to expand into two countries.

    Aldi Süd's international management holding has been located in Salzburg since 2014. Almost 300 employees manage the international development of the Aldi Süd Group worldwide under the Hofer umbrella.

    Aldi announced in May 2017 that it would open 400 new branches in the USA with an investment of 1.5 billion euros and expand the majority of the existing branches. Analysts see the appearance of Lidl , Walmart's reaction and Amazon's plans in motion for the US grocery trade. Since 2014, 20 food retailers in the USA have gone bankrupt as a result of the price war.

    Hofer / Aldi Suisse

    Founded by Helmut Hofer in 1962, chain store Hofer with around 30 branches was taken over in 1967 by Aldi. Since the name Aldi cannot be used in Austria (it belongs to the company Adel Lebensmittel Discount ), it has been operating as Hofer KG since then . The Aldi-Süd concept was gradually implemented. The Hofer Logo - originally a white lettering "Hofer" on blue beams - was later s supplemented by the two line flocking Aldi "A" and resembles today (except for the lettering HOFER ) the logo of Aldi Süd (see logos ).

    The ALDI Suisse AG is a Swiss company headquartered in Schwarzenbach SG and belongs to the group of companies Hofer S / E. After Migros , Coop , Denner and Manor, it is the fifth largest retailer in Switzerland and employs around 3,000 people. Aldi pays a significantly higher minimum wage than Migros and Coop. In 2015, Aldi Suisse generated 1.42 billion euros (equivalent to 1.52 billion francs) in net sales. That makes an average of 8.4 million francs per branch. The first four branches were opened on October 27, 2005 in Weinfelden , Amriswil , Altenrhein SG and Gibstorf .

    Aldi Süd enters the Chinese market

    In spring 2017, Aldi Süd entered the Chinese market. Selected products were initially traded exclusively online via the Tmall Global platform, an online marketplace operated by the Chinese Alibaba Group . The online shop should therefore primarily offer wines and unrefrigerated foods. Australian suppliers would provide a large part of the range for the online shop and thus gain access to the world's largest market with 1.4 billion customers, Aldi Süd announced.

    The first Aldi-Süd branch was opened on June 7, 2019 in Shanghai . Aldi China's target group is the middle class, who are offered “not cheap goods, but selected, higher-quality products”.

    Logos (1945 to today)

    Aldi Süd has had a new logo since June 2017. The emblem looks less angular than its predecessor.

    Other concepts

    A thousand and one opportunities in Mannheim

    In Mannheim 's Waldhof district , Aldi Süd tried out a new store concept called a thousand and one opportunities . In the store, which opened on April 4, 2005, bargain products that had not been sold (Aldi specials) were sold again at greatly reduced prices. However, since the concept did not work, the shop was closed again on June 30, 2007.

    Aldi-Bistro in Cologne, 2017

    At the end of April 2017, Aldi Süd opened an “Aldi Bistro” as a pilot project in Cologne's Mediapark . As a pop-up concept, the bistro was built from shipping containers on the pond of the media park, where it was operated for three months. The dishes, available as a three-course menu or individually, are made from products from the discount chain. The bistro has 50 seats on 90 square meters, plus a further 20 on the roof terrace. There was a daily menu consisting of a starter, main course and dessert at a flat price of 7.99 euros. After the station in Cologne, the Aldi Bistro moved to Munich, where it opened in October 2017 and was also in operation for three months.


    Group sales and earnings were not disclosed until 2000. In the meantime, the figures for both the North and South companies are published in the Federal Gazette .

    Sales in Germany in 2010 amounted to 22.5 billion euros (Aldi Nord: 9.95 billion euros, Aldi Süd: 12.5 billion euros), global sales amounted to 52.8 billion euros. The return on sales in Germany in 2010 was 3.0% (Aldi Nord) and 3.7% (Aldi Süd).

    Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are completely family-owned . The capitalization is described as very solid, according to Aldi has no liabilities . As far as is known, Aldi Nord is the owner of all logistics centers through its real estate subsidiary. Most of the branch stock is also owned, rented objects are increasingly being replaced by own objects in the course of the exchange of space and the expansion. AldiSüd is also the owner of almost all buildings (markets, logistics centers) and land, but has also borrowed funds to finance further property expansion. Aldi Süd thus left the previous path of total independence from lenders by avoiding outside capital.

    Customer profile

    Until about the beginning of the 1980s, Aldi had the image of a poor people's shop ; Aldi products were considered to be of sufficiently solid quality, but without prestige. Even today, poor sections of the population are an important target group for Aldi, but this is no longer considered negative for Aldi's image. Products sold by Aldi often received very good test results (e.g. from Stiftung Warentest and Öko-Test ). In 2006, three quarters of households made regular purchases from Aldi. In the five-year review by Stiftung Warentest, around 40% of the promotional products offered were a bargain from 2004–2009, 45% were reasonably priced; the testers found the remaining 15% to be too expensive.


    Interior view of an Aldi-Nord store, 2006
    Bakery products, 2015
    Chilled goods, 2015
    Frozen foods, 2015
    Eggs, Milk and Bicycles, 2015

    The basic idea is to only carry products in the range that have a high turnover rate with a certain minimum turnover, so-called fast - moving items . The range is therefore relatively narrow and consists of around 1360 basic items, 170 organic items in the standard, seasonal and promotional items range, and around 80 promotional items per week.


    The linkage of consumer prices that used to be common for all branded goods ( second-hand price fixing ) gave the Albrecht brothers no opportunity to offer branded items cheaper. Therefore, Aldi only had the option of unbranded products, the so-called no-name products . The aim was to find manufacturers who packed products specifically for Aldi with fantasy names that were not subject to any fixed prices. Many branded goods companies were initially not ready because they feared and actually experienced negative reactions from their existing customers. Due to the rapid expansion of Aldi and because of their good quality right from the start, these Aldi own brands quickly achieved the recognition and distribution level of well-known branded articles. For Aldi, this concept has the additional benefit that the consumer does not buy a well-known brand that he can just as easily get in any other supermarket, but is adjusted to an opinion such as "Aldi chocolate is good".

    Aldi has branded products from Schneekoppe , Storck , Haribo , Ferrero , Coca-Cola , Freixenet , Gerolsteiner , Red Bull and Beiersdorf AG in its range.


    Aldi Nord has been selling loose fruit and vegetables since 2004 , which are weighed at the checkout. Loose fruit and vegetables have also been available at Aldi Süd since 2016. Since 2018, some meat products with the Neuland animal welfare label have been sold under the own brand "Fair & Gut". At the end of April 2019, the “Fair & Gut” range was expanded to include pasture milk , which also bears the “For More Animal Welfare” label from the German Animal Welfare Association . The WWF Switzerland has the sustainability values compared eleven milk production standards. However, “aldi Fairmilk” only met 33% or less of the content criteria.

    Aldi Süd has been using freezers since 1998.

    North and South are very successful in the coffee business: all roasted coffee is produced in our own roasting plants. Aldi Nord has "Markus Kaffee" roasted at Markus Kaffee GmbH & Co. KG in Weyhe and Herten . The Aldi-Süd subsidiary NewCoffee has “Amaroy coffee” produced in roasting plants in Mülheim an der Ruhr and in Ketsch . Since 2013 Aldi has the largest market share of wine sales in Germany and in many other commodity groups also market leader .

    Baking machine at Aldi Süd, 2010

    The branches of Aldi Süd are equipped with baking machines. The bread maker dispenses bread products at the push of a button. In July 2010, the Central Association of the Bakers' Trade brought a lawsuit against Aldi for misleading advertising. The advertising was criticized: "From now on we will bake bread and rolls for you all day - fresh from the oven."

    Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have their own organic brands that meet the requirements of the German state organic seal .

    The consumer goods sector and the Aldi PC

    Since the beginning of the 1990s, the increasing share of consumer goods has run like a red thread through the history of not only Aldi, but also other food discounters. In contrast to food, consumer goods have the character of short-term special offers. Sometimes an assortment of related articles is offered as part of a theme week, e.g. B. a wide range of camping products.

    While the consumer goods sector was limited to textiles and household items in the early days, the range expanded to include entertainment electronics in the course of the 1990s. The consumer goods division reached a high point with the so-called Aldi-PC, a personal computer specially commissioned by Aldi at long intervals for the mass market .

    As the first computer at Aldi, the "Aldi- C16 " came on the market in spring 1986 as a set at a price of 149 marks, although at first it was only a sale of remnants from Commodore, which triggered a boom in demand. The first "Aldi-PC" was brought onto the market in 1995, at the time of the beginning Internet boom. There was a real rush for the first Aldi PCs, as the demand for consumer PCs on the market could not be met immediately by the retail chains that had previously dominated the PC market and the Aldi PC could be sold cheaply thanks to extremely high sales figures. It was primarily families with lower and middle incomes that were particularly addressed.

    The same trading partner and manufacturer of most of the technical devices available from Aldi for years is Medion .

    In the Aldi Süd branches, from the beginning of the 2000s to around 2014, Medion products were often offered under the pseudonym brand Tevion , which is Aldi Süd's own brand and also includes products from other manufacturers.

    The Aldi Group is the eighth largest textile marketer in Germany; In this segment, the discounter - despite the generally stagnating sales figures in the textile sector - has sales of over 1.095 billion euros per year (2005).

    Aldi Süd has also been selling tobacco products in Germany since 2003/2004. Aldi sources its tobacco products from Austria Tabak .

    Aldi has been offering an online photo service in Germany since July 2005, where paper prints of digital photos can be ordered to be delivered to your home.

    On December 7, 2005, Aldi entered the mobile phone business in Germany after having had good experiences at Hofer in Austria. Both Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd offer customers in cooperation with the Medion telephony division Medion Mobile the prepaid rate Aldi Talk to.

    Since January 2007, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have also been providing package tours in Germany and Switzerland. The executing partner is Berge & Meer , a TUI subsidiary. From April 19, 2013 to February 2014, Aldi Nord und Süd also arranged long-distance bus trips on the Internet portal Aldi Reisen in cooperation with the Bonn bus company Univers .

    Aldi Nord has been selling a range of around 70 magazines (daily newspapers and magazines) since February 2008.

    An online order service for cut flowers has been offered since April 2008, with Aldi only acting as an intermediary. The order is processed by the company fleurfrisch , a subsidiary of Landgard , the long-term contract supplier of the plant products at Aldi. The actual composition of the bouquets is done by a bundling service commissioned by Fleurfrisch, who almost exclusively employs work contract employees.

    For 2008, the sale of insurance in cooperation with Signal Iduna was also planned. After protests by the Federal Association of German Insurance Merchants, Aldi withdrew from the cooperation.

    Customers have been able to stream music via the Aldi life platform since 2015. E-books were added in 2016 and computer games in 2017.

    In 2016, Aldi launched its own online shop on its website for the eleventh birthday of the Aldi Talk brand . In addition to the tariffs, this has been expanded to include smartphones and tablets for sale.

    Aldi Süd has been offering certified green electricity since November 2016.

    Since June 2017, Aldi Süd has been offering selected promotional items via the “Aldi delivers” service that are not available in the branch, but are paid for in the branch and then delivered to your home.

    In November / December 2018, Aldi entered the bookselling business. Since then, bestseller books have been offered at Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord .


    Promotional model truck

    In the entire history of the company until 2016, Aldi did not spend any money on external marketing agencies. ( Karl Albrecht , 1953: "Our advertising lies in the cheap price.")

    Up until 2007 (Aldi Nord) and 2008 (Aldi Süd) both companies did without their own press offices. Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd now each have their own communication departments.

    The weekly ads in local newspapers have looked the same for years; they show the current offers without advertising slogans under the motto “Aldi informs”. The newspaper advertisements previously replaced the four-page price lists that were published regularly, some of which were also distributed to households.

    The newspaper advertisements from north and south became larger (since then 1/1 page) and colored. There are also leaflets with next week's offers in the markets. Both Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord have three campaigns per week all year round, which are summarized in a multi-page brochure . Aldi Nord has brochures, leaflets and newspaper advertisements prepared and placed by its own advertising agency, which operates across Europe for the group.

    At the beginning of the 2000s, Aldi Nord tried its hand at merchandising and offered Aldi-Markt kits, truck models (see photo) and bath towels in the Aldi colors. The Aldi store is part of the Faller standard range .

    In 2010, Aldi did not advertise in daily newspapers in some regions and instead had the bi-weekly advertising brochure distributed free of charge to all households.

    Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have each offered an Aldi app for Apple iOS and Android since 2010 and 2011 respectively . Current customer brochures can be called up and items from the range can be entered in a shopping list.

    In 2016, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd placed commercials on German television and online for the first time in the company's history . A website was also put online with the motto “Simply is more”. Aldi Süd has also been attracting customers with a blog since autumn 2016. Aldi Süd publishes the customer magazine Aldi inspired . The free magazine appears every two months.

    POS system

    Before the spread of scanner cash registers , it was common in the food retail trade, each individual item with a price tag excel ; this was read and entered by the cashiers .

    At Aldi there were no price labels: At Aldi Nord, the items sold were registered by entering a multi-digit PLU number . At Aldi Süd, the DM prices were entered directly, which is why receipts without an item description were the rule. It was necessary for the cashiers to memorize the prices of all products or the PLU numbers. Typing in was faster than scanning with the technology of the time, which is why customers could be processed faster and personnel costs saved.

    With the introduction of the euro as cash on January 1, 2002 as legal tender , all prices were converted exactly and rounded off. In the course of this, Aldi Süd switched completely to scanner tills in 2000 and Aldi Nord in 2002.

    Since Aldi mostly sells its own brands, it was relatively easy to place the barcode on the product packaging in unusual and sometimes non-standardized sizes and in large numbers on different sides of the packaging. Most Aldi packaging therefore has the EAN barcode (company-internal shortened EAN-8 code) on at least three sides, as long strips or as a band around the entire packaging, whereas the products in other supermarkets have a standardized, smaller barcode on just one Own place. The cashiers therefore have to turn and turn Aldi items much less frequently in order to be able to capture them by the scanner, which speeds up the checkout process.

    In Germany, tests were carried out with payment by EC card in 2004 in Aldi Nord branches. From April 2005, payment by EC card was introduced across the board at Aldi Nord and Süd, which was completed by the end of October 2005. The conversion was carried out by the company NCR .

    In May 2014, NFC- enabled POS terminals were introduced in all Aldi Suisse branches ; in June 2015, Aldi Süd and Nord followed suit in Germany and Denmark. These enable contactless payment using an NFC- enabled debit card ( Maestro , V Pay , PostFinance Card , etc.) or credit card or an NFC-enabled smartphone . A so-called mobile payment app such as Apple Pay is required for mobile payment .

    Since the end of 2016, Aldi Süd customers who pay for a purchase of at least ten euros with the Girocard have been able to withdraw up to 200 euros in cash free of charge.

    Return of empties

    Diebold-Nixdorf empties machine
    Tomra empties machine

    In the second half of 2005, Aldi Nord introduced a test of empties machines as a rationalization measure . Aldi Süd took over this system in the first quarter of 2006. Both joined the ILN system as part of this measure . The new deposit regulation, which came into force on May 1, 2006, also forced the company to take this step, as the so-called " island solutions " were ended.

    After extensive tests, Aldi Nord decided on a take-back system from the manufacturer Diebold Nixdorf , while Aldi Süd preferred a development from the manufacturer Tomra Systems . A system is used in both devices in which the PET bottles are pressed immediately after dispensing. The Aldi Süd Group has been taking back cans since December 2014. The Aldi Nord group has only been taking them back since March 22, 2015.

    Tax free shopping

    Since 2006, Aldi Süd has been offering a system for reimbursing the sales tax difference for the disproportionately strong Swiss customers in the branches on the border with Switzerland . However, there is no cash payment, but a cashless transfer via a specially created Aldi-Süd-Tax-Free card by Global Refund . It only applies to customers over the age of 18. Initially, a minimum purchase of 40 euros was mandatory. However, only part of the sales tax was reimbursed (as with all companies that have joined the tax-free system). At Aldi that was 75% (25% was retained to finance the system). However, Aldi felt compelled to do so (since the competing retail trade in this area has been offering Swiss customers almost nationwide a full refund for years and the proportion of these customers in the regional branches is around 30%, on some weekdays over 50%), the 75 -% / € 40 rule to be repealed at the end of 2011. Meanwhile the full sales tax. (100%) refunded and the minimum purchase amount has been canceled.

    Current market position

    Aldi uses its market power in negotiations with suppliers, but does not expect any concessions from its suppliers in the event of falling sales prices or advertising cost subsidies, anniversary discounts or logistics optimization discounts.

    In the entire food retail trade, ALDI in Germany ranks fourth in terms of sales behind the companies Edeka , Rewe , the Schwarz Group and ahead of the Metro Group (2010). With a turnover in the textile sector of around 1.071 billion euros (2009), ALDI ranks 8th among the largest textile retailers in Germany. In the area of health products outside the pharmacy , Aldi had a market share of around 18% in 2005. According to a Forsa - survey , 95% of workers , 88% of employees , 84% of officers and 80% of self-employed customers at Aldi. According to information from the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung , sales fell by 1.5% for the first time in 2007 and amounted to EUR 27 billion gross. As a result, the market share among discounters fell by 0.6 percentage points to 18.9%.



    The black book brand companies accuses Aldi Süd of largely preventing union organization , so there is no general works council . ver.di also reports on the company's strategic efforts to prevent independent employee representation and to appoint representatives of the Working Group of Independent Employees (AUB) to committees.

    In April 2004, Aldi canceled its previously weekly, full-page advertisement in the Süddeutsche Zeitung with immediate effect after it published a small article on April 7, 2004 about “harassing working conditions” and “massive electoral obstructions” when attempting to found the first Aldi works councils reported in Munich. As a result of this boycott, the newspaper lost advertisements with a total value of around 1.5 million euros.

    In a study, the Südwind Institute found labor law violations in Aldi’s Chinese and Indonesian suppliers. These include months of withholding wages, employee bail payments for factory jobs and child labor . In February 2008, the Aldi Group joined the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) after the “ Clean Clothes Campaign ” organized campaigns in Germany for better production conditions for Aldi textiles in China and Indonesia in March 2008 . The campaign criticized, however, that the BSCI is not an independent verification body in which trade unions and non-governmental organizations are represented in the lead. In 2009, the Südwind Institute again pointed out unworthy working conditions in Aldi suppliers. The workers would have to work up to 90 hours a week, mistakes would be punished with fines. Workers are not given maternity leave and they are prohibited from forming unions. In a newly published study in 2010, the Südwind Institute also pointed out labor law violations at Aldi suppliers in China. In April 2008, Aldi Nord was criticized because 120,000 euros a year went to the Working Group of Independent Workers (AUB). The company granted these payments. The works councils of many Aldi-Nord regional companies are members of the AUB, which is itself close to the employers.

    At the beginning of January 2013 it became known that Aldi Süd apparently had employees monitored with hidden cameras. A former detective of the company reported in the news magazine Spiegel that he had also been supposed to report on private matters of the employees, in particular the financial situation and the speed of work. The company denied the allegations.

    Employees in a warehouse in Baden-Württemberg abused trainees in 2013. Unpopular Aldi Süd apprentices were tied to posts in the Mahlberg central warehouse by the deputy division manager and other employees with cling film . The Aldi employees would then have smeared the faces of the trainees with felt-tip pens. The foil was so stretched when tied that one of the tied people could hardly breathe. Superiors observed and approved the harassment. Some excerpts of the abuse recorded with smartphones were also published on pages in the online network Facebook . The trainee was also threatened with being locked in the freezer compartment of the central warehouse if he continued to misconduct.


    Hyundai Ioniq at an Aldi Süd charging station in Hilden , 2018

    In the Black Book of Brand Companies , exploitation in the extraction of raw materials and environmental destruction are cited as criticisms.

    Aldi has been criticized for its non-ecological offer of cheap shrimp at the expense of the mangrove forests . In 2010, the environmental protection organization Robin Wood accused the retail chain that two books in their range also contained fibers from mangrove wood . In May 2004, Aldi sold garden furniture made of Indonesian Meranti wood in a special campaign . Due to protests by environmental organizations and individual activists who urged Aldi not to enrich itself by destroying the last Indonesian tropical forests, Aldi declared that it would only want to market articles made of wood with the FSC seal in future.

    Aldi Süd has equipped around 1250 branches and its logistics centers with photovoltaic systems. There are free charging stations for electric cars and electric bicycles at 50 branches . Users can charge their electric vehicles free of charge and without registration. The range of an electric car should be extended by up to 80 kilometers within 30 minutes, the range of an electric bike by eight kilometers.

    In Switzerland, the disposal has been criticized: Food packaging would together in biogas plants disposed of, from where the by MikroPlastik loaded digestate ends up in the fields. Since summer 2019, Aldi has been charging a cent for thin plastic bags for fruit and vegetables. With the measure, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd want to respond to the criticism that too much plastic packaging is used in their branches.


    • Allegedly in 1961 the Albrecht brothers divided the company into the independent corporate groups Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd because they could not agree on the inclusion of cigarettes in the range . Whether that was really decisive for the separation of the company at that time has never been officially confirmed to this day.
    • In 1966, a coffee roastery was opened in Mülheim am Heifeskamp (which still exists today). The Aldi brand Markus coffee is roasted there.
    • Aldi-Süd owns the naming rights of the largest lecture hall at the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences . Since the beginning of the 2006 winter semester, it has been called "Aldi-Süd-Hörsaal". There is also an "Aldi-Süd lecture hall" in the Wiesbaden Business School of the RheinMain University , at the ESB Business School in Reutlingen and at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences .
    • The catchphrase “Aldization” was chosen as the word of the year 2005 in Switzerland. The phenomenon referred to is now the subject of investigation in the social sciences. It is defined as "the increasing search by even better-earning consumers for the cheapest offer in more and more areas of consumption". Furthermore, “Aldization characterizes the intensifying price and special offer competition in retail, which intensifies price-oriented consumer behavior. In addition, various societal effects of a problematic nature are ascribed to aldization, such as the desertification of inner cities and the impairment of the employment and consumer culture ”.
    • The design of the Aldi-Nord shopping bag was done by Günter Fruhtrunk , painter and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
    • In the years 1996–2005 Eichborn Verlag published the book series Aldidente , a collection of cookery, wine and cocktail recipe books, the products of which were largely made from goods sold by Aldi.
    • Peter Heister, Beate Heister's husband and former spokesman for the advisory board (supervisory body) of Aldi Süd, made the lateral entrant Frank Lutz the coordinating councilor in 2013 in order to be able to operate more effectively in a central holding company, namely “to set up a central cash management system and a modern one Participation controlling through to group-wide project and investment management. ”The three coordinating councilors Norbert Podschlapp, Michael Kloeters and Robert Ochsenschläger, comparable to company boards, feared for their power and sovereignty. Therefore, they used a “pretext” to blackmail the then 94-year-old company founder Karl Albrecht with the decision to either dismiss Lutz or all of the coordination councils. Albrecht did not react and thereupon Lutz was dismissed from the advisory board with a severance payment of three million euros per year for his three-year contract.
    • Since 2013, the Aldi transparency code (ATC) has been assigned to Aldi products to track the origin of food.
    • On January 6, 2014, a total of 140 kg of cocaine was found accidentally in banana boxes in some Aldi stores in Berlin and Velten .
    • For visitors to the Southside Festival 2019 (near Tuttlingen ), Aldi has announced an "Aldi Süd Festival branch" with around 2000 m² of retail space on the festival site. The shopping trolleys should be equipped with off-road tires in order to be able to transport the purchases on the premises. A walk-in refrigerator, twelve baking stations and 16 cash registers were named as further special features. According to the company, the approximately 200 employees employed were identified from 400 applicants from six regional companies; these should be divided into three shifts every day in order to organize the approximately 260 items in the store.

    See also


    - chronological -


    • Supermarket - the courted customers. Documentary, Switzerland, 2005, 30:24 min., Script and direction: Ursula Bischof Scherer, production: NZZ Format , first broadcast: April 24, 2005 on SRF 1 , summary by NZZ, ( memento from June 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) , online video from NZZ format.
    • Aldi - mother of all discounters. Documentation, Germany, 2009, 83 min., Written and directed: Rasmus Gerlach , production: NDR , first broadcast: November 2, 2009, synopsis by NDR, online video .
    • The Aldi check. Documentation, Germany, 2011, 44:38 min., Script and direction: Nicole Kohnert and Herbert Kordes, production: WDR , first broadcast: August 22, 2011, series: Der Markencheck , Aldi check list from Das Erste , online video .
    • The Aldi story - Karl and Theo Albrecht. Documentation, Germany, 2014, 43:20 min., Script and direction: Sebastian Dehnhardt and Manfred Oldenburg , production: ZDF , first broadcast: December 9, 2014, series: ZDFzeit , online video .
    • How Aldi got to the east. Documentation, Germany, 2015, 29:45 min., Script and direction: Joachim Förster and Caspar Kaltofen, production: Maximus Film, MDR , series: Umschau extra , first broadcast: May 19, 2015, online video .
    • Aldi Couture. TV report, Germany, 2017, 2:28 min., Script and direction: Boris Berg, moderation: Annette Betz , production: Bayerischer Rundfunk , editing: Abendschau - Der Süd , first broadcast: November 28, 2017 on BR Fernsehen , online- Video from AMD Akademie Mode & Design .
    • The Aldi brothers. (Alternative title: Aldi. A German story. ) Docudrama , Germany, 2018, 88:06 min., Book: Dirk Eisfeld, Hannah Ley, Raymond Ley , director: Raymond Ley, production: AVE, WDR , NDR , SWR , first broadcast: October 22, 2018 in Das Erste , summary of Das Erste, ( Memento from October 20, 2018 in the Internet Archive ). At the center of the plot are the brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht, who shortly after the Second World War took over their mother Anna Albrecht's Karl Albrecht grocery store and turned it into a self-service chain of shops. The company's history changes with cuts to the 17-day kidnapping of Theo Albrecht at the end of November 1971. with Arnd Klawitter as Theo Albrecht, Christoph Bach as Karl Albrecht, Peter Kurth as the lawyer Heinz-Joachim Ollenburg.


    Web links

    Commons : ALDI  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

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    114. Jörg Schallenberg and Steffen Grimberg: Aldi no longer informs. In: the daily newspaper , April 20, 2004;
         Kathrin König: After critical reports, Aldi no longer shows ads in the SZ: the main thing is cheap. In: Berliner Zeitung , June 22, 2004.
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    121. Press release: Metro, Aldi and Adidas stores in China - municipalities and federal states have to act. In: Südwind Institute , August 19, 2010, (PDF; 102 kB).
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    127. Dr. Rudolf Fenner, Waldreferat: Open letter: Mangrove wood fibers in books by Tandem-Verlag. In: Robin Wood , November 16, 2010, (PDF; 2 p., 26 kB).
    128. Stephan Zimprich: Environment: Aldi on the wrong track. In: Spiegel Online , May 20, 2004.
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    134. Secret Treaties. Aldi-Süd lecture hall at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden. In: UniSpiegel , December 10, 2012, No. 6.
    135. Moritz Honert: University sponsoring: Off to the brand university! In: Zeit Campus , November 6, 2006.
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