German retailer Aldi - an abbreviation of Albrecht Discount - has led the rapid growth of the so-called "hard discount" sector in the global retail industry, stripping out unnecessary costs to sell a carefully controlled selection of high-volume own-label products at rock-bottom prices, supplemented by a changing selection of "Special Buy" items. Despite the stripped-down offering, Aldi has developed an unlikely position in Germany as one of the country's best-loved institutions, frequented by wealthy bargain-hunters as well as the less well-off. That's largely because of a focus on high quality despite the low pricing. Aldi's products are just as good if not better than third-party brands, and in key segments, its private label products outsell national brands by a considerable margin. The group also has an extensive global profile, with operations as far afield as the US (where it operates Aldi stores as well as the slightly more upscale Trader Joe's chain) and Australia, as well as other European markets. In several countries, not least the UK and Australia, the relentless expansion of Aldi and also its domestic rival Lidl, has resulted in fierce competition with local chains who have struggled to match the German group's prices. Aldi is in fact two separate companies, originally established by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht after WWII. Karl's Aldi Sud operates stores in southern and western Germany, as well as in Austria and Slovenia (under the Hofer brand), Switzerland, Hungary and English-speaking countries including the US, UK, Australia and Ireland. Theo's Aldi Nord manages northern Germany, and other European markets including France, Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark, as well as Trader Joe's in the US. However, most purchasing is managed centrally by an executive board drawn from both companies. The privately-owned business, now controlled by separate family trusts, doesn't publish financial information. However combined sales are estimated at around €55bn, of which approximately €23bn is generated in Germany. Marc Heussinger is CEO of Aldi Nord; Aldi Sud is run by co-CEOs Norbert Podschlapp and Juergen Kroll.
Capsule checked 19th October 2018
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Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Santa Crashes Christmas". Australia's BMF hotshop delivers another cracker for Aldi down under. The usual Christmas stuff - tinsel and trees and prezzies - is all well and fine in ads, but it's outliers like this that really make the holiday advertising splurge worthwhile. Kudos to all those clients and agencies that are prepared to try something out of the usual for the holiday season. Clearly Aussies are already used to a summertime Christmas, however odd it might seem to all of us up here in the northern hemisphere, but I think it's fair to say we've never before seen Santa Claus shearing a sheep or being chased out of an outdoor dunnie by a snake.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Oct 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Good Different: Loyalty". Aldi has been revolutionising the supermarket business in several markets around the world. Australia is close behind the UK for disruption of the country's traditional operators, in this case the local duopoly of Woolworths and Coles. One key factor has been a long run of fine ads from creative powerhouse BMF, which manages to highlight all of the discounter's advantages with accurately aimed darts of humour against the competition. These are never just funny for funny's sake; funny with a purpose is the motto. Here's another great example, given extra oomph by a fine bit of casting in the case of that checkout girl and her extraordinary eyes. Beware the Coles and Woolworths moonies!
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Nov 2017: Ads Of The Week: "The More The Merrier". Are we Brits undergoing some sort of Brexit-induced crisis of confidence? We arguably invented the modern version of Christmas 150 years ago, yet this year some of the best Christmas ads have originated in a country where they celebrate the holidays on the beach with a barbecue rather than in front of a roaring log fire with snow on the ground outside. For example, in a complete change from the usual style of seasonal ads, here's a wholly out-of-the-ordinary film from BMF for the Australian branch of Aldi. BMF always hits one out of the park for Aldi at Christmas, and this one is no exception, with all the humour, imagination and inventiveness that seems to be missing from Adland UK's latest offerings.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Jun 2017: It looks like a price war is coming to the US supermarket business. Discounter Aldi is ramping up expansion plans as it prepares for the arrival of German-born rival Lidl, whose first American stores opened this week. Aldi announced a further $3.4bn investment in its US subsidiary, and plans to expand its footprint to 2,500 locations by the end of 2022, from around 1,600 at present. That would make it the country's third largest supermarket retailer by outlets behind Walmart and Kroger. It is already spending several billion dollars more on store renovations. Expansion by Aldi and Lidl has already overturned the traditional order in the UK and Australian supermarket sectors.
Adbrands Social Media 7th Nov 2016: "Nothing Beats the Perfect Aussie Christmas". Aussie agency BMF is rolling out this bizarre but entertaining Christmas campaign for the local arm of Aldi supermarkets. A "typical" American family tries - and fails - to convince their (rather more normal) Australian counterparts that a Northern hemisphere Christmas is better. It's like some weird Tim Burton musical parody. Let's face it, who *wouldn't* want shrimps on the barbie at Christmas?
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