Aldi Shakes Up Grocery Industry

Low prices, no frills and private-label brands help retailer battle Amazon, Kroger and Walmart.

May 20, 2019

NEW YORK—Aldi is growing aggressively in the United States—and becoming one of the largest competitors in the grocery scene. It’s a bit unexpected when you consider Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and Instacart. But it the discount grocer’s simplicity and efficiency that are working wonders in the industry.

A CNN article pointed out that although shoppers need to pay a quarter to rent a shopping cart and must bring their own bags or pay if they want a paper one, Aldi has developed a cult-like following. “The allure is all in the rock-bottom prices, which are so cheap that Aldi often beats Walmart at its own low-price game,” the article said.

“I am willing to do the extra work because the prices are amazing,” said Diane Youngpeter, who runs a fan blog about the grocer called the Aldi Nerd and an Aldi Facebook group with 50,000 members. “There’s a lot of Aldi nerds out there,” she said. “I didn’t realize that there were so many of us.”

With more than 1,800 stores in 35 states, the no-frills’ grocer on the way to becoming the third-largest supermarket chain behind Walmart and Kroger. It’s forcing other grocery companies to rethink store layout, offerings and prices.

CNN put it well: “There’s no secret to how Aldi keeps its prices so low: The company strips down the shopping experience in an unapologetically and brutally efficient way.” An Aldi store only stocks around 1,400 items, compared with the average 40,000 at a traditional grocery store, but the limited selection and layout is helping shoppers save time.