Aldi Article August 2018

By RJ Johnson August 13, 2018

Some 10 years ago, Aldi didn’t sell olive oil; today it sells four kinds. The Batavia-based discounter also now sells vegan kale burgers, organic hummus and a slew of gluten-free products.

Amid a major remodeling and expansion effort nationally and in Chicago, Aldi is also accelerating its launch of more premium products marketed as fresh, natural and organic. By early next year, Aldi will have significantly more fresh food offerings and new products in all of its nearly 200 Chicago-area stores, which are in the process of being remodeled, Aldi executives said Wednesday.

Make no mistake: Aldi is still the thrifty-minded store where shoppers pay a quarter to check out a shopping cart and, if they don’t bring their own, buy their shopping bags at checkout, too. Samples are only doled out at store openings to keep costs down. A gallon of milk still costs about 95 cents in some Chicago-area locations.

But Aldi is also betting that recent investments in new products and more aesthetically pleasing stores will attract a broader base of customers.

“The motivation is to resonate more and more with what the customers want. … We think we found the sweet spot of concept that resonates throughout income levels,” said Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart at a media tour of the recently remodeled store in St. Charles on Wednesday.

Aldi is about halfway through its $5 billion plan to remodel existing stores and expand its store count from 1,800 to 2,500 by the end of 2022.

Already, Aldi has seen positive results in stores that have been remodeled and stocked with the new products, though Hart declined to give specifics on how much those changes have increased average numbers of transactions and basket sales, the average amount purchased by individual consumers. Aldi, a privately held company, is historically tight-lipped with such figures….Read Full Article here:  Aldi Article – Chicago Tribune – 8.9.2018.rj