Aldi making big push into American market

Aldi making big push into American market
Photo: DPA
German discount grocer Aldi plans to open at least 75 stores in the United States in the coming year, hoping to draw traditional Wal-Mart shoppers to even cheaper deals during the economic downturn, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

According to the paper, “Aldi is so cheap that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. closed its discount outlets in Germany two years ago partly because shoppers found the US giant too expensive in comparison.”

Because Aldi’s goods are almost entirely the retailer’s own brands, they are banking on Americans turning away from their name-brand loyalty while pinching their pennies as their budgets tighten, finding prices up to 20 percent cheaper than Wal-Mart’s, the paper reported.

“This is the perfect confluence of factors for us,” Jason Hart, president of Aldi’s US division, told the paper.

The company, which also owns Trader Joe’s specialty food stores, already has some 1,000 stores in the US after coming to the country in 1976, but current economic factors make an expansion more appealing and urgent, the paper said.

“The push comes as the retailer is running out of room to grow in its German home market, where an estimated 90 percent of households shop at its stores, and Aldi and other deep discounters account for 40 percent of all grocery sales,” the paper reported.

The US Aldi stores will have more produce and a “less-cramped” and brighter feeling to suit pickier middle-class American customers.

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