Aldi Grocery Stores (North and South)
~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~
One of my favorite affordable international grocery stores. I was first introduced to them in their home country of Germany by my good friend Vanessa and have been hooked on them through my international travels ever since. Affordable, simple, and economic. I’ve continued to enjoy them through my travels in Australia, Europe, England, and Ireland. Aldi is a chain made up of two groups – the “Aldi North” (Aldi Markt) that has its headquarters in Essen and “Aldi Sud” headquartered in Malheim an der Ruhr. They were started by Germany’s richest man, Karl Albrecht with his brother Theo (Germany’s 2nd richest man). They now have over 2,500 stores in western, northern, and eastern Germany, and Aldi Sud’s with 1,600 stores in western and southern Germany. Internationally, they can be found in Denmark, France, the Benelux countries, the Iberian peninsula and Poland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and Australia. In the United States; Aldi Nord is the parent company of Trader Joes. Trader Joe’s is simply the Americanized version of Aldi Nord. Aldi was started in 1913 as a small store in Essen by Karl and Theo’s mother. The sons apprenticed in the shop and took over a food shop formerly ran as the “cheapest food source”. After World War II, the brothers took their mother’s business and opened another retail outlet nearby and by 1950 had over 13 stores. Their idea was to subtract the legal maximum rebate of 3% before sale to give customers additional discount. They split the company into the North and South by 1960 when they disputed over the sale of cigarettes at the till. By 1962 they came up with the Aldi name and became separate legal entities in 1966. They expanded internationally in the 1970s. The brothers retired in 1993 and gave most of their wealth away to foundations. To cut costs, they are “no frills” and expect customers to be orderly, bring their own bags, and until recently only accepted cash. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan.
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