I’m back with one last ALDI post to wrap up this series. I have learned SO much through this short term ambassadorship with ALDI. I’ve gone from being fairly unfamiliar with the brand and the benefits of being an ALDI shopper to understanding their unique operating procedures and the method behind their customer service experience and becoming a brand advocate. I can honestly say that I will be adding ALDI to my list of frequently visited stores and I already have a list going for all the things I want to pick up on my next trip.
Here are the links to the other posts in this series so that everything is in one place.
And that brings us to today. The last activity that we did on our visit to the ALDI headquarters was tour a local ALDI store to learn about the operational efficiencies that allow them to beat conventional grocery stores in pricing by a landslide. This tour was extremely educational and made me truly appreciate how smart and forward thinking ALDI is as a company.
The store that we toured was located in Geneva, Illinois, just a few miles away from their corporate headquarters in Batavia. I was immediately drawn to it’s spacious layout featuring clean design and abundant natural light. One of my first comments was, “My local ALDI looks nothing like this!” I learned that all ALDI stores built after 2003 feature this type of layout but the older stores are smaller and more compact.
You’ll notice that most of the items on display at ALDI are stacked boxes whenever possible and no shelves. This allows them MEGA operational efficiencies in that they don’t have people stocking shelves for hours upon end. It takes an average of 5-6 hours to stock and entire ALDI store. The boxes are designed to compliment the product packaging so that the aisles look neat, organized and aesthetically pleasing despite the fact that they consist of a lot of stacked cardboard boxes.
Another simple efficiency that ALDI features is multiple UPCs on their packaging. The average item contains five bar codes. This means faster check out times because cashiers don’t have to search for bar codes.
As I mentioned in my first ALDI post, 90 percent of the brands featured at ALDI are private label. And if you’re wondering who makes the private label brands for ALDI, it’s the SAME food manufacturers that make other grocery store private label brands as well as the national brands. And as far as country of origin, if the product does not state on the label the country where it was made, it was made in the USA.
ALDI is so confident in the products they offer their customers that they offer a double backed guarantee. If a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with an ALDI food product, they will replace the product and refund the purchase price.
Each store features a “special buys” section with 20-30 food and non-food products that are offered at a great value. These products change weekly and can include anything from kitchen appliances to workout gear to seasonal food items to outdoor furniture.
Lack of organic meat and eggs was a concern of mine in shopping at ALDI but I did learn that they are featuring organic chicken and grass fed beef as Special Buy items on a routine basis. Once a Special Buy becomes popular enough, they will consider adding it to their regular line. (Word to the wise…the next Special Buy on grass fed beef will be March 26 so mark your calendar!)
The produce selection in this store was especially nice.
With some killer deals on weekly produce picks including $0.99 cantaloupe, $1.29 pineapples, $1.49 asparagus and $0.99 tomatoes on the vine.
ALDI is working on the in-store tagging and labeling of their food. In the next year they will have key nutritional data on the front of all private label products and in the next few months they will have shelf tags for all organic and gluten-free items so that they are easier to identify when shopping.
Check out at ALDI is quick and painless. You have to bring your own bags or pay for them and they do not accept credit cards due to fees. They also do not accept coupons because there is always a cost associated with these programs that the store has to pass to consumers in another way. Also, while you’re shopping you’ll notice that there is no music. This is so that they don’t pay licensing fees (which are actually really expensive). They are serious about being as efficient as possible.
At the end of our tour we gathered for a group picture and were sent on our way with a snack box for our travel home.
I truly enjoyed my this experience working with ALDI and meeting nine other wonderful and inspiring bloggers.
- Shannyn of Frugal Beautiful
- Lorraine of Run Wifey Run
- Roni of Roni’s Weigh (check out her awesome Q & A video!)
- Wendy of Daily Dose Of DelSignore
- Jen of Fitbottomed Girls
- Meghann of Meals And Miles
- Rebekah of Bex Life
- Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point
- Sarah of Sarah Fit
ALDI is currently on an aggressive growth plan and adding 650 stores in the next five years…including the West coast for those of you who asked…so look out for an ALDI near you!
This post is sponsored by ALDI as part of my ALDI Fresh Blog Ambassador partnership.