The ALDI grocery chain has its roots going all the way back to Essen, Germany in 1913 with a shop opened by the mother of ALDI founders Karl and Theo Albrecht and there are some secrets about the successful company that you may not know about. Here’s a list of 10 things you may not know about ALDI:
- ALDI had a much different name originally – the first name was Albrecht Diskont (German work for discount) and the chain now has thousands of stores all over the world in four continents.
- There are two grocery chains called ALDI – ALDI was split into two companies, Aldi North and Aldi South in 1960. There are similarities between the two and there are plans to merge them together according to the USDA.
- ALDI owns Trader Joe’s – Aldi North and Theo Albrecht bought the chain back in 1979 12 years after the first TJ’s opened in Pasadena, CA.
- The best deals are on Wednesdays – new products are stocked on Wednesdays according to Taste of Home and produce goes on sale and markdowns on old items as well on this day of the week.
- There WAS horsemeat in many ALDI products – ALDI stores in the UK were found to be replacing horsemeat with beef according to The Guardian causing numerous recalls and costing the company millions of dollars.
- “D” is for “Discontinued” – if there’s a “D” on an ALDI product it will be disappearing from shelves soon according to Honey Kitchen.
- Bread is marked down 5 days before expiration – bread and other baked goods are marked down in price 5 days before expiration per Best Life.
- There is a so-called “Aisle of Shame” – a few dozen feet of shelf space usually in the middle of the store featuring temporary and rotating inventory with most seasonal items according to Atlas Obscura.
- Returns are replaced AND refunded – ALDI has a "Twice As Nice Guarantee" that’s good for 90 days (except for alcohol and a few other items) that will replace your item that is unsatisfactory AND refund your money.
- The quarter loan for the shopping cart is not about theft protection – this is really to encourage shoppers to return their carts and the quarter is refunded which reduces the need for ALDI employees to hunt around the parking lot to corral the carts.