Aldi, short for Albrecht Discounts, was founded by the Albrecht family in the late 1900s. Their first location opened in Germany in 1961, becoming the first discount grocery chain in the world, according to the company.
It's a principle that has guided the company ever since. For the last 40 years, Aldi U.S. has held onto the notion that "great quality shouldn’t come at a high price; rather, great quality should come with everyday low prices," the company noted on its website.
Aldi U.S. is headquartered in Batavia, Illinois, and opened its first US store in Iowa in 1976. Since then, the company has expanded to more than 1,900 stores across 36 states. The company has a fleet of over 25,000 workers across the nation, which has been steadily growing since opening the late '70s, according to the privately owned company.
The grocer is known for keeping its services to a minimum to drive down costs. One is implementing a system where customers deposit 25 cents for a shopping cart upon arrival. When the cart is returned, the customers get their deposit back. The deposit ensures shoppers return their cart which in turn eliminates the need for the company to hire extra staff to collect carts.
The grocer also touts that it provides "everyday low prices and a quick-and-easy" shopping experience inside its store. The stores are comprised of only four to five aisles with less selection of brands to choose from. Due to its slimmer selection, the company focuses on the "most commonly purchased grocery items." The company touts that this model allows for "sizable discounts which are passed directly to our customers."
What's more, the items are displayed in shipping boxes, which the company says is to help save time and resources when restocking the aisles.
Aside from food, the chain offers items ranging from kitchen appliances and seasonal items to outdoor furniture and gardening tools.
Customers will also never find any services like banking and pharmacies inside Aldi's stores in the chain's effort to provide more savings to customers, the company noted.