Monday, March 15, 2010

ALDI, Whaaa???

A new grocery store is being built down the street from my house. It's something I have never heard of before. ALDI. I had no idea what to expect. My hope is that it would be another Whole Foods or Central Market type of grocery store, but I am not sure. I saw the first commercial for it tonight so I got curious and went to the wonderful world wide web to check it out. I am skeptical, like I am with all things I am unsure of. From what I read, here is how ALDI is different:

~To use a grocery cart, you have to put a 25 cent deposit into the cart in order to "check it out" of the stall and use it. Yes, you get that quarter back when you return it to the stall, but still...who carries cash or a lot of change anymore? To their defense, they do say with this system, they don't have to assign an employee to round up carts in the parking lot, thus saving money.

~They encourage shoppers to bring their own bags, by charging 5 cents for paper bags and 10 cents for bigger (heavier duty) bags. I like this option, I think all stores should go to this.

~ALDI does not accept checks, which I think is a good thing. I hate being slowed down behind the old lady writing a check. But with that, ALDI also does not accept credit cards. ALDI only accepts cash, food stamps/EBT cards, and PIN-based debit cards. What about people who use American Express, etc. as their main method of payment because of the rewards?

~ALDI carries mostly private label brands. ALDI will carry some national brands, but these are usually “special buys”—limited-time offers of products, that ALDI claims, score you huge savings, but are only available while supplies last.

The concept is definately different than what we are used to in Texas. It has potential to be great, or fail. I do hope it does well. I like the "green" aspect of it but I am not sure of the "private label" part of it. I am all for generic paper towels and private label (which is fancy for generic) items, but from stores I trust and shop at Tom Thumb.

The only other time I remember adjusting to a new store was when CVS expanded to our area. Before that I had only seen CVS in Long Island, NY. I thought it was strange how it had carpet. I was so used to Eckerd Drugs. That was THE drugstore when I was a kid.

ALDI opens by my house this spring. It will be interesting to see how it does.


amanda kirk said...

sorry was just reading your stuff, its funny and interesting.
we have aldi here in australia like everywhere, there is 4 within 20 mins of where i live, i do my shopping there and i pay half of what i would pay at another store like coles.

Jodie M. Cordell said...

Hey Amanda!
My sister recently told me that ALDI was opening up right down the street from my folks' house. I first saw ALDI when I was living in Chicago. And now that I'm in Germany they are EVERYWHERE!!! They are a very popular store in Europe.
The idea of the 'coins for carts' is not a new one. They tried that when they opened the Hypermart (now the super Walmart on south Cooper) but I guess Americans were too lazy for that to stick. But in Europe, almost all stores do that. And they cost a whole Euro to do it! And as for bags, well they do that everywhere here too. They have really cool baskets you can buy that work really well for small stuff! Everyone uses their own bags or baskets to do their shopping. Or they just use the shopping carts themselves.
We really like ALDI and shop there often. Yes, they have generic brands but we like the food that they sell. One brand they carry is called BIO. I'd be really curious to see what types of brands will be available in the American stores. One of the things we LOVE to buy at ALDI is alcohol! Liquor and wine is really cheap there! Grand Marnier for 10 Euro a bottle!! But, I guess that will have to be different in Texas since you can't buy liquor at the grocery store. Hmmmm. But you can buy wine!
We've bought all kinds of stuff at ALDI though...socks, shirts, household goods, fireworks, Christmas stuff, costumes for Fasching...all kinds of stuff that was really well-priced. You'll have to let me know what you think of the store once you go there.
I believe the grand opening happened a couple of weeks ago. Let me know what you think!

Btw, I love your blog! Can't believe I never checked it out before! ;D


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