Monday, March 15, 2010
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 frequently...like 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.