How Aldi Plans to Conquer America

How Aldi Plans to Conquer America
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

The secretive German discounter Aldi is taking the world by storm -- and now the United States. The Wall Street Journal draws on internal documents, rare public filings, and interviews to illuminate Aldi's plan: Limit choice. It's betting people will prefer quick trips through streamlined stores offering “low prices and high quality” instead of sprawling warehouses. Eye-opening detail: A basket of 30 typical household items is on average almost 17 percent cheaper than Wal-Mart.

From the Wall Street Journal:

One of Aldi's strengths that has eluded many discounters is its ability to draw middle-class shoppers—those with more money to spend—despite its limited array of goods. It did this by cultivating the image of a company focused on quality rather than pinching pennies.

“Poor people need us, rich people love us,” Theo Albrecht used to tell executives, according to Mr. Brandes, the former board member.

There too, executives say, the limited assortment played a central role. The small number of items ensured that staff could carefully choose, taste-test and quality-control each item.

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