At first glance, Aldi’s might be confusing to first-time shoppers. You walk through the doors, and it seems like a typical grocery store. It isn’t until you’ve walked down a few of the aisles that you realize there’s nothing at all typical about this supermarket. Aldi’s is a lot like black licorice, you either love it or hate it. There is no middle ground when it comes to those who either love or loathe Aldi’s. The main reason why Aldi’s has so many loyal shoppers is because of their low prices. Here we’re going to talk about how Aldi’s can keep their prices so insanely low.
10. Aldi’s shelves aren’t like any other store
What’s the first thing that you notice when walking into an Aldi’s store? You notice that the store looks a little, well, messy. It’s not messy in the sense that there are products strewn all over the place, or the store looks filthy. Aldi’s is set up for efficiency. Usually, products are kept in their boxes and are only removed when the customer wants something. Stocking the shelves is easy since they only have to cut upon the box, and that’s it. The shelves are never made to look pretty, and at first, that can be quite a strange thing for someone who has never shopped at a place like this before. Don’t be afraid of reaching in a box and pulling out an item or two. Did you know you can buy an entire box if you want? You can even take the box to the register, and no one is going to chew your head off. Aldi’s is laid back like that. You kind of have to make yourself at home while shopping at Aldi’s. You should expect to open a few boxes, move a couple of empty boxes, and see people doing the same things. There’s a real do it yourself spirit to shopping at Aldi’s that many of the customers seem to enjoy.
9. Aldi’s spends far less on advertising than its competitors
How often do you see Aldi’s advertised on television? Some of you may have never seen an Aldi’s commercial. How can they compete with the big box stores without a massive advertising budget? It’s all about prices and quality for Aldi’s. They keep their prices low by not allowing profits to be sucked out from under them in the form of advertising. That’s not to say they don’t have flyers or the occasional television ad spot, they do. You aren’t going to see their ads plastered all over the airwaves. Advertising costs money, and it’s the customer who ends up paying the bill. Aldi’s shoppers don’t need to be reminded where the low prices are. An Aldi’s shopper is savvier than a coupon cutter any day of the week. They know the good deals are right under your nose. There isn’t much advertising needed when you run an incredible store like Aldi’s. They already get the best form of advertising, which is word of mouth. No one can keep their mouth shut about the insane deals and the high quality of food found at Aldi’s. It goes beyond food too; they have many household products that no one can live without.
8. Aldi’s stores are highly energy efficient
If you think that Aldi’s customers are tightwads, then you’d be surprised by the corporate structure of this company. They are all about saving money. It makes sense because saving a few cents here or there means they can pass the savings onto the customer. Everyone knows there’s been a big push to go green and to consume less energy. Aldi’s has been a leader in this trend by making its stores more energy efficient than most. The engineers who build their buildings do so in a way to make sure the stores use as little energy as possible. There’s more to their desire to cut back on energy usage than caring about the environment. Energy costs are high when operating the type of stores Aldi’s has. It’s about far more than the lights that you see when walking in the building. They have coolers, freezers, and other appliances running all day and night. By making sure everything is energy efficient, they save tons of money, and it helps them keep their prices highly competitive. Any money that they don’t have to spend on electricity is money that’s not tacked onto your grocery bill.
7. Fewer items mean smaller stores
If you’ve never been into Aldi’s, you probably wonder where they put all the stuff. Everyone thinks about the big chain stores and all the items on their shelves. Aldi’s is different, and you’re not going to see many of the same things there. They have a variety of items, but not many different brands. You aren’t going to find two dozen different brands of potato chips. This keeps the amount of shelf space required to run a store reasonably minimal. They don’t believe in wasting their precious space at all. The store may not look organized, but it’s set up in a way to get the maximum amount of products in front of customers. Some people like going to a store that isn’t jam-packed with stuff they don’t need. It makes shopping much easier for those in a hurry and people who can’t walk around too well. When you shop at Aldi’s, you go there to get what you want, and that’s it. You don’t walk up and down the aisles daydreaming about the newest flavor of Oreo. The reason for that is, they don’t have many famous brands. Most of the items sold at Aldi’s are store brands. The items are high quality, but rarely do you see anything that is name brand. It’s their way or the highway when it comes to brands. Many are okay with that since their brands are the same or higher quality than what they’re used to.
6. Aldi’s limits the number of perishable items on their shelves
You may not realize it, but you’re paying for all those rotten tomatoes at the store. Every piece of produce that ends up getting tossed into the trash can is paid for by the consumer. That sucks. Doesn’t it? There’s no such thing as a free apple, and someone has to pay for it. You are the one who pays for it, and so does the other customers. The great thing about Aldi’s is, they have much less produce and other perishable items that can go bad. No, that doesn’t mean all the stuff they sell is frozen. It means they have a limited supply of perishables at any time. Their goal is to only put on the shelf what they think people will buy. Aldi’s customers know that the time to buy fresh produce is when they see it. Yes, now and then, sometimes, a certain item may not be on the shelf. Rarely is this a problem, but it can be depending on the time of year and item. It makes sense that they would only stock a limited number of something that can spoil. If the item spoils or rots, then that is profit down the drain. No one cries over spilled milk as Aldi’s does. If you want to see a grown man cry a river, then pay attention to one of their big shots when they stumble upon a watermelon that has seen better days.
5. You won’t find Aldi’s open 24 hours a day
How many times at midnight have you realized you were craving potato chips and ice cream? Aldi’s customers know when those late-night cravings kick in that it’s best to go to bed. You won’t find Aldi’s open late. Aldi’s is only open during peak hours. That means they’re closed during the hours that people are flocking through their doors. It’s another part of their strategy to be as profitable as possible. Why open your store when there aren’t enough people to come in to justify keeping the lights on? Aldi’s can’t find a good reason, and that’s why they keep their doors shut until people are ready to come barreling through. You adapt your life around Aldi’s if you want the good stuff. Those four in the morning runs for coffee creamer don’t happen at Aldi’s. Their loyal customers modify their lives around when their favorite store opens and closes. It’s no shock to them that you can’t get a pack of diapers after Monday Night Football. You either have to plan and buy a pack or learn how to make diapers out of your bedsheets until Aldi opens up in the morning. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made when it comes to something as sacred as football.
4. Aldi’s stores are built to last
Have you ever paid attention to the construction of Aldi’s stores? If not, pay close attention to the store itself the next time you walk into Aldi’s. You’ll see that the store is built to withstand anything. Aldi’s doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to the quality of materials when building their stores. It might be surprising to some that they don’t use the cheapest materials possible to build a store. You might think that Aldi’s would want to save money in any way they can. That’s not the case when it comes to their buildings. Aldi is built to withstand the test of time and come out the other end, standing strong. The logic behind their attention to craftsmanship makes sense if you think about it in the long term. A well-built store is one that won’t require as much upkeep — sometimes being cheap means that you’ve got to go the expensive route when it comes to building a structure that’s meant to last. Aldi’s understands if they invest in buildings that last upfront, that the cost of upkeep and maintenance will be much less down the line. It makes sense if you think about it. Their thriftiness has to lead them to create a store that’s so rock solid even the big bad wolf couldn’t blow it down.
3. You don’t see many workers at Aldi’s
Are you trying to find where the beans are for your next pot of chili? You’re better off asking the person next to you than finding an Aldi’s employee. They are known for hiring as few people as possible to run the store. It’s understandable since the cost of hiring someone is through the roof these days. Aldi’s is also known to pay much more than it’s competitors. Couple that with their desire to operate as inexpensively as possible, and that’s why you don’t see many workers on the floor. It leaves you feeling like you’re on a deserted island without as much as a life raft. Don’t worry; you’ll find the potato chips. If not you, then some kind soul will know where they are. Aldi only has enough people on the floor to get the job done. Anything more than that, and it’s overkill in the eyes of Aldi’s. The other stores can get away with people standing around doing nothing since they pay less. Those other stores probably expect a certain amount of standing around, and how much they pay reflects that. Those working for Aldi’s are expected to toil tirelessly for the customers. The workers are rewarded with higher wages, better benefits, and a more fulfilling job atmosphere.
2. You have to rent the carts
Only those of you who have shopped at Aldi’s knows how the carts there work. You have to put a quarter in the slot to get a cart out. That quarter isn’t much, but it’s enough to make people bring back the cart. It’s funny how a quarter will make someone remember to bring back a cart that is worth more than that. You could sell the cart for scrap metal, and it would probably be worth more than a quarter. For whatever reason, you don’t think about that when it’s your quarter that’s sitting there waiting to be set free. All joking aside, the carts are quite expensive. The hope that Aldi’s has is that you’ll feel so invested in your cart that you’ll return it. Also, making people rent the cart means they have to return it when they’re done with it. That means there aren’t carts in the parking lot getting banged around and withstanding the elements. It’s an ingenious idea that seems to work really well. No one ever forgets that shiny coin they had to put in the slot to get their cart. In a day in age where everyone pays with plastic, somehow, no one forgets to have a coin ready when they go to Aldi’s.
1. You pay for bags and load them up yourself
By far, the one most shocking thing about Aldi’s to many people is that you have to bag your own groceries. You also have to pay for the bag you put the stuff in. Sure, you can bring your own bags, and many people do that. But, it’s the whole process of bagging your groceries that throws many people off guard. Unless you had an after school job working in a grocery store as a teenager, you probably have no idea how to properly bag groceries. Anyone who has worked in a grocery store knows that you’ve got to make sure the bags are square when filling them up. If you pay attention to Aldi’s customers, you’ll see what a few lumpy bags. If you don’t want to pay for bags, you can use empty boxes if there are any. They won’t say anything if you take an empty box from the shelf and put your items in it. If you’re taking the bus home or walking, then this probably isn’t a good idea. Aldi makes you pay for the bags and put your stuff in it as a way of saving money. It does make shopping at Aldi’s less convenient, but most people are willing to put in a little elbow grease to save some cash. The savings are substantial enough that people forget how burdensome it is to put your stuff away in the bags. That’s why it’s best to take your kids with you when you go shopping at Aldi’s. Have them put away the food in the bags. It’s the least they can do since you bought them that big tub of ice cream that’s bigger than their head.