In the beginning: It’s 1913 and a small grocery store opens in Essen, Germany. There at the counter stands Anna Albrecht. Over time, She’s joined by her two little boys Karl and Theo.
By the 1930s, the family business is well established but the Great Depression makes things extremely difficult. Time for some bold ALDI thinking.
Gaining an advantage: In a smart move, the Albrechts acquire a liquor licence, gaining an advantage over their competitors.
They also let their customers buy goods on account and pay later. This results in huge customer loyalty.
Fresh approach: ALDI reveal another string to their bow: liquid soap which doesn’t need a ration coupon. (They were the only retailers for miles who stocked this.)
The business wasn’t just surviving now - all these strategies send their turnover soaring.
Self-service store: By now, Karl and Theo have already taken over the business. In 1954, they make history by opening their first self-service store in Essen-Schonnebeck. It’s a first in Germany.
ALDI NORD and ALDI SÜD
The brothers now own 300 stores and decide to split the operations into ALDI NORD (North) and ALDI SÜD (South) - which now operate independently.
Becoming ALDI: They decide to think of a new name and come up with ‘ALDI’, short for Albrecht Discount.
Soon after, they expanded their operations worldwide; exceeding the borders of Germany, connecting with customers reaching all across the globe from USA to Australia.
Keeping sustainability at focus
ALDI continued to stay ahead of the curve not only with innovative store designs but also with a clear focus on sustainability. Since then, a dedicated group-wide corporate responsibility unit has been working to reconcile sustainability and business. The implementation of a company-wide human rights policy is just one example of how the idea of sustainability has found its way into the entire company.
Launch of ALDI SÜD HOLDING
In 2014, ALDI SÜD HOLDING was launched in Salzburg to help shape the future of ALDI SÜD group, working closely with the local teams in each country.
The business model continues to work brilliantly. With award-winning products and astonishing growth, we’re going from strength to strength.
At ALDI we believe that we exist to offer the best possible value for our customers. This means a relentless focus on offering high quality goods for a low price. We have the ambition to be market leaders on both quality and price, which is no small task.
To deliver this ambition we run a lean and efficient organisation, supported by three core values:
Simplicity, Consistency, Responsibility
Wherever there’s an ALDI SÜD location, you’ll find us living out these same principles in our work and our world.