ALDI

Aldi Nord logo Aldi Süd logo

Aldi is an international hard discount supermarket chain based in Germany. It is actually two separate companies but is commonly referred to as one. The company's name stands for Albrecht-Discount, using the founders' last name. Historically, Aldi is said to have been Germany's first real discount supermarket. Its spartan stores with low prices on a limited range of goods can now be found in more than a dozen countries.

History

The company was founded in 1946 by the brothers Karl and Theo Paul Albrecht in Essen, Germany. Back then, it comprised only one small food shop. In the year 1961, the then-Aldi chain of supermarket stores split into two sister companies (each belonging to one of the brothers) over a dispute whether to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products at the checkout. Thus today, Aldi consists of Aldi Nord (Aldi North) (where tobacco sales were deemed to be acceptable) and Aldi Süd (Aldi South) (where they were not; however Aldi Süd began selling tobacco products in 2003). The chains initially covered the respective different regions of the then-West Germany. The companies have since expanded internationally, into other European, North American, and Australian markets. In principle, the two firms share nothing but the name and a similar corporate identity; however, they describe their relationship as a "friendly alliance" and there appear to be agreements between the two insofar that they do not compete directly with each other and (except for Germany) never both operate in the same countries.

Regions where Aldi operates

A map of the countries in Europe that Aldi operates, orange: "Aldi South", dark blue:"Aldi North"

Aldi Nord operates in

  • Northern Germany
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal (coming soon)
  • Spain


Aldi Süd operates in

  • Southern Germany
  • Australia
  • Austria (where it operates under the name Hofer)
  • Ireland
  • Slovenia (where it operates under the name Hofer)
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

What you may find in an Aldi store

Aldi specializes in staple items such as food, beverages, sanitary articles and other inexpensive household items. One reason for Aldi's success is that the number of brands is very limited, you usually don't find more than two different brands for one kind of product and often only one. This increases the numbers of sales for each article and also allows Aldi stores to be smaller than supermarkets which cover the same range of products but with more diversity. Also it allowed Aldi to avoid the use of price tags even before the introduction of barcode scanners (see below).

Additionally to the standard assortment Aldi also has weekly special offers, some of them on more expensive products such as electronics, appliances or computers, usually from Medion. Although not always available, but regulary put up for sale are clothing, toys, flowers, gifts. The specials are only available in strictly limited quantities and for a limited timeframe (one week). In the past some of Aldi's early computer offers, created some kind of hysteria in Germany, with all available items sold in only a few hours.

Aldi is the largest wine retailer in Germany. Aldi mainly sells exclusively produced, custom-branded products (often identical to and produced by major brands) with brand names including "Grandessa" and "Fit and Active". American Aldi stores also feature bargain-priced, gourmet foods imported from Germany. Although Aldi emphasizes low prices, reports from a German consumer watchdog suggest that this does not negatively impact the quality of Aldi products.

Low price philosophy

Aldi's "strictly no frills" approach is evident for instance in that typically Aldi stores do not decorate aisles — or even fill shelves for that matter: Pallets of the products on offer are commonly simply parked alongside the aisles, and customers picking up products will gradually empty them. When all items on a pallet have been sold, it is replaced. Long queues at the checkout counter are also relatively common, reflecting Aldi's minimal staffing levels, as well as the competitive situation in Aldi's native Germany, where long supermarket checkout lines are part of daily life. However, due to the efficient checkout system, a long queue does not necessarily translate into longer waiting times than in other supermarkets.

These and other cost-cutting strategies save Aldi money and arguably the general price level in Aldi stores — as compared to more "upmarket" supermarkets — appears to show that at least some or most of these savings are passed on to consumer. Aldi has successfully carved its own (actually rather large) niche with this approach: While shoppers may not normally like shopping in a bland or industrial-looking (and possibly congested) store, such utter lack of frills has become part of the accepted norm with Aldi, and consumers appear to be willing to accept it because of the "incredible value" they expect to get in exchange. ("Top quality at incredibly low prices" is an Aldi marketing slogan.)

Aldi also profited from the introduction of the euro in Germany and other countries. Consumers believed that many merchants had used the currency changeover as a cover to increase prices, often substantially; this was later confirmed by independent studies. In contrast to other supermarkets, Aldi prominently listed "before and after" prices on posters in stores for months after the introduction, and generally rounded its euro prices down. As a result, Aldi earned a great deal of customer goodwill.

Advertising policy

Aldi has a policy in Germany of not advertising, apart from a weekly list of special prices called Aldi informiert (Aldi informs) that is distributed in stores, by direct mail, and sometimes printed in local newspapers. It claims this is a cost savings that can be passed on to consumers. However, in the USA, Aldi advertises regularly via weekly newspaper inserts and Aldi television commercials have begun airing on the TBS network, and in the UK print and television ads appeared in mid-2005. Aldi do not have publicly listed telephones in stores to minimize the time checkouts are unutilised.

Checkout system

Aldi's checkout procedure is highly standardized, with checkout operators sitting down in swivel chairs, passing products through a two-sided barcode scanner. Products have very long barcodes covering several sides of the packaging to speed this procedure. Cashiers save additional time by preparing the most likely amount of change while the customer is still searching for money in his/her wallet.

Aldi was, however, a latecomer to barcode scanners, and many stores only added them in 2004; previously, cashier clerks would manually enter a three-digit code for each item from memory (Aldi Nord) or the price (Aldi Süd). An advantage of this was that the cashiers could already type in the prices of all the articles on the conveyer belt even if the customers were blocking the process by not putting the articles quickly enough back into their shopping cart.

Once products have been scanned, they are put directly in the shopping cart, which has a special dock on the counter for this purpose. This is why Aldi stores in Germany insist that customers use a cart; the customer is expected to bag groceries at a separate bench. Many, if not most customers, however, ignore this rule, not least because it would force them to join the queue to leave the store even if they hadn't purchased anything. Aldi generally does not offer hand baskets. However, in Australia select stores do have hand baskets available.

Reputation

In West Germany, before about 1990, Aldi shops were often ridiculed as being cheap shops selling poor-quality goods. Aldi's customers were alleged to be only poor people who couldn't afford to shop elsewhere. Loyal German soccer fans, ashamed of their favorite team's performance, were known to wear Aldi bags over their heads as a gag. Being held in such low esteem by many did not seem to dent Aldi's profits however. After German reunification, many German middle class families had to cut down their spending and Aldi's popularity and public acceptance grew. Many individual consumers "discovered" that the poor reputation of Aldi's products was apparently undeserved. This shift in public perception was boosted by a series of cookbooks that only used Aldi ingredients, which led to the emergence of a kind of Aldi fandom into the German mainstream.

In countries such as the UK, where the level of service and presentation of mainstream supermarkets is arguably lower than in Aldi's native Germany, Aldi's public reputation does not appear to have improved in the same way. Despite this, and the strong price competition between such British retailers on precisely the basic goods Aldi sells, the firm apparently remains profitable.

In the United Kingdom, Aldi (just like it's rival Lidl) is often the centre of jokes regarding the wealth of a person, particularly with the younger generation. Many consider it to be derogatory to shop at Aldi, and as a result a lot of students will not admit to shopping there if they do.

Business practices

Many Aldi practices are common in German supermarkets but largely unique to Aldi in markets such as the U.S. and Britain. These include the system of metal gates and turnstiles forcing customers to exit through the checkout, the practice of charging for shopping bags, and the fact that Aldi until recently accepted only cash (since 2004, German stores have begun to accept the Maestro debit card). Debit cards are also accepted in the USA. Like most German retailers, Aldi does not accept major credit cards. Aldi does accept MasterCard, Bankcard and Visa in Australia for an additional 1% surcharge.

Aldi stores worldwide are approximately the same size. The company's stores in Germany are similar in size to those of competing supermarkets, and they can often be found in shopping centres or elsewhere where retail units of this size are common. However in other countries, such as Britain, France, and the U.S., Aldi stores are far smaller than those countries' typical supermarkets or hypermarkets, and tend to be free-standing, purpose-built structures.

Aldi stores often have fairly limited opening hours, such as were restricted by law (until 18:30 weeknights and 14:00 Saturdays) in Germany until these laws were relaxed somewhat in 1996 and 2004. Some (but by no means all) of its German outlets, particularly those in shopping centres, now stay open until the revised legal closing time of 20:00. On the other hand, Aldi stores in the U.S. and U.K. close around 19:00 weeknights, earlier on Saturday, and most remain closed on Sunday, in contrast to the late or 24-hour opening times of many U.S. and British supermarkets. Aldi's U.S. stores are the only ones to offer customer toilets.

In Germany Aldi is occasionally jokingly called Feinkost Albrecht (approximate translation: Albrecht Deli).

Recently the similar Lidl chain has grown faster than Aldi; its major difference in business practice is that it stocks a few name brands.

Aldi Talk

On the 7th December 2005, based on their well known brand, Aldi (both Nord and Süd) in Germany introduced a pay-as-you-go mobile phone company Aldi Talk, piggybacking on the e-plus network. They offered rates of €0,05 (approx US$ 0.06) per minute/SMS to other Aldi Talk customers and €0,15 (approx US$ 0.18) to landlines and other mobile phones. This phone offer is available on either a “starter set”, which is a SIM card and €10 (US$ 12.01) worth of credit at €19,99 (US$ 24.02), or a Medion mobile phone [1] with a SIM card at €59,99 (US$ 72.11).

Previously, Aldi Süd in Austria did a pay-as-you-go service called “yesss!” [2] with Connect Austria's One.

Competitors

  • Lidl (5000 stores)
  • Netto (1200 stores)
  • Kwiksave (UK Only)

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Previously, Aldi Süd in Austria did a pay-as-you-go service called “yesss!” [2] with Connect Austria's One. It is also the home of the Petrarca Padova rugby union team. This phone offer is available on either a “starter set”, which is a SIM card and €10 (US$ 12.01) worth of credit at €19,99 (US$ 24.02), or a Medion mobile phone [1] with a SIM card at €59,99 (US$ 72.11). It is the home of Calcio Padova, a soccer team that plays in Italy's Serie C1 division. They offered rates of €0,05 (approx US$ 0.06) per minute/SMS to other Aldi Talk customers and €0,15 (approx US$ 0.18) to landlines and other mobile phones. Other races include very small numbers of Filipino, Croatians, Serbs, and Moroccans. On the 7th December 2005, based on their well known brand, Aldi (both Nord and Süd) in Germany introduced a pay-as-you-go mobile phone company Aldi Talk, piggybacking on the e-plus network. The racial makeup of the city is 94.5% Italian, 1.3% Romanian, 0.5% Albanian, and 0.5% Moldovan.

Recently the similar Lidl chain has grown faster than Aldi; its major difference in business practice is that it stocks a few name brands. Many of the labourers are those of eastern European origin, and North African origin. In Germany Aldi is occasionally jokingly called Feinkost Albrecht (approximate translation: Albrecht Deli). The commerce and jobs attract many immigrants into the city. stores are the only ones to offer customer toilets. The presence of the university attracted many distinguished artists, as Giotto, Fra Filippo Lippi and Donatello; and for native art there was the school of Francesco Squarcione (1394-1474), whence issued the great Mantegna (1431-1506). Aldi's U.S. The place of Padua in the history of art is nearly as important as its place in the history of learning.

and British supermarkets. The university hosts the oldest anatomy theatre 1594 and the oldest botanical garden 1545 in the world. close around 19:00 weeknights, earlier on Saturday, and most remain closed on Sunday, in contrast to the late or 24-hour opening times of many U.S. The list of professors and alumni is long and illustrious, containing, among others, the names of Bembo, Sperone Speroni, the anatomist Vesalius, Fallopius, Fabrizio d'Acquapendente, Galileo Galilei, Pietro Pomponazzi, Reginald, later Cardinal Pole, Scaliger, Tasso and Sobieski. and U.K. Under the rule of Venice the university was governed by a board of three patricians, called the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova. On the other hand, Aldi stores in the U.S. Padua has long been famous for its university, founded in 1222.

Some (but by no means all) of its German outlets, particularly those in shopping centres, now stay open until the revised legal closing time of 20:00. In 1866 the battle of Koniggratz gave Italy the opportunity to shake off the last of the Austrian yoke, when Padua and the rest of the Veneto became part of the united Kingdom of Italy. Aldi stores often have fairly limited opening hours, such as were restricted by law (until 18:30 weeknights and 14:00 Saturdays) in Germany until these laws were relaxed somewhat in 1996 and 2004. In Padua, the year of revolutions of 1848 was a student revolt on February 8 that transformed the University and the Caffè Pedrocchi into real battlefields, in which students and ordinary Padovani fought side by side. However in other countries, such as Britain, France, and the U.S., Aldi stores are far smaller than those countries' typical supermarkets or hypermarkets, and tend to be free-standing, purpose-built structures. The Austrians were unpopular with progressive circles in northern Italy. The company's stores in Germany are similar in size to those of competing supermarkets, and they can often be found in shopping centres or elsewhere where retail units of this size are common. Padoue (the French name) was made a duché grand-fief ...

Aldi stores worldwide are approximately the same size. After the fall of the Venetian republic the history of Padua follows the history of Venice during the periods of French and Austrian supremacy. Aldi does accept MasterCard, Bankcard and Visa in Australia for an additional 1% surcharge. Venice fortified Padua with new walls, built between 1513 and 1544, with a series of monumental gates. Like most German retailers, Aldi does not accept major credit cards. The treasury was managed by two chamberlains; and every five years the Paduans sent one of their nobles to reside as nuncio in Venice, and to watch the interests of his native town. Debit cards are also accepted in the USA. Under these governors the great and small councils continued to discharge municipal business and to administer the Paduan law, contained in the statutes of 1276 and 1362.

These include the system of metal gates and turnstiles forcing customers to exit through the checkout, the practice of charging for shopping bags, and the fact that Aldi until recently accepted only cash (since 2004, German stores have begun to accept the Maestro debit card). The city was governed by two Venetian nobles, a podestà for civil and a captain for military affairs; each of these was elected for sixteen months. and Britain. Padua passed under Venetian rule in 1405, and so remained, with a brief interval during the wars of the League of Cambray, till the fall of the republic in 1797. Many Aldi practices are common in German supermarkets but largely unique to Aldi in markets such as the U.S. It is the oldest botanical garden in the world and still contains an important collection of rare plants. Many consider it to be derogatory to shop at Aldi, and as a result a lot of students will not admit to shopping there if they do. The botanical garden was founded in 1545 as the garden of curative herbs attached to the University's faculty of medicine.

In the United Kingdom, Aldi (just like it's rival Lidl) is often the centre of jokes regarding the wealth of a person, particularly with the younger generation. In the "Room of the Forty" remains the chair of Galileo, who taught in Padua from 1592 to 1610; the Aula Magna, rich with coats of arms and decorations; The famous Anatomy Theatre, where Vesalius taught through dissections, is the oldest in the world (1594). Despite this, and the strong price competition between such British retailers on precisely the basic goods Aldi sells, the firm apparently remains profitable. The center of the university is founded around a rebuilt mediaeval inn of the "Bo" (the Ox), the mid-16th century Old Courtyard by Andrea Moroni. In countries such as the UK, where the level of service and presentation of mainstream supermarkets is arguably lower than in Aldi's native Germany, Aldi's public reputation does not appear to have improved in the same way. Padua prospered economically, and the university (the third in Italy) was founded in 1222, making it one of the oldest universities in continuous operation. This shift in public perception was boosted by a series of cookbooks that only used Aldi ingredients, which led to the emergence of a kind of Aldi fandom into the German mainstream. It was a long period of restlessness, for the Carraresi were constantly at war; they were finally extinguished between the growing power of the Visconti and of Venice.

Many individual consumers "discovered" that the poor reputation of Aldi's products was apparently undeserved. From that date till 1405, with the exception of two years (1388-1390) when Giangaleazzo Visconti held the town, nine members of the enlightened Carraresi family succeeded one another as lords of the city. After German reunification, many German middle class families had to cut down their spending and Aldi's popularity and public acceptance grew. As a reward for freeing the city from the Scalas, Jacopo da Carrara was elected lord of Padua in 1318 (query 1338?). Being held in such low esteem by many did not seem to dent Aldi's profits however. But this advance brought them into dangerous proximity to Can Grande della Scala, lord of Verona, to whom they had to yield in 1311. Loyal German soccer fans, ashamed of their favorite team's performance, were known to wear Aldi bags over their heads as a gag. When Ezzelino was unseated in June 1256 without civilian bloodshed, thanks to Pope Alexander IV, Padua enjoyed a period of rest and prosperity: the university flourished; the basilica of the saint was begun; the Paduans became masters of Vicenza.

Aldi's customers were alleged to be only poor people who couldn't afford to shop elsewhere. The temporary success of the Lombard League helped to strengthen the towns; but their ineradicable civic jealousy soon reduced them to weakness again, so that in 1236 Frederick II found little difficulty in establishing his tyrannical vicar Ezzelino da Romano in Padua and the neighbouring cities, where he practised frightful cruelties on the inhabitants. In West Germany, before about 1990, Aldi shops were often ridiculed as being cheap shops selling poor-quality goods. The citizens, in order to protect their liberties, were obliged to elect a podestà, and after a devastating fire in 1174 that required the virtual rebuilding of the city, their choice fell first on one of the Este family. However, in Australia select stores do have hand baskets available. At the beginning of the 11th century the citizens established a constitution, composed of a general council or legislative assembly and a credenza or executive body, and during the next century they were engaged in wars with Venice and Vicenza for the right of water-way on the Bacchiglione and the Brenta— so that, on the one hand, the city grew in power and self-reliance, while, on the other, the great families of Camposampiero, Este and Da Romano began to emerge and to divide the Paduan district among them. Aldi generally does not offer hand baskets. Under the surface two important movements were taking place.

Many, if not most customers, however, ignore this rule, not least because it would force them to join the queue to leave the store even if they hadn't purchased anything. The general tendency of its policy throughout the war of investitures was Imperial and not Roman; and its bishops were, for the most part, Germans. This is why Aldi stores in Germany insist that customers use a cart; the customer is expected to bag groceries at a separate bench. During the period of episcopal supremacy over the cities of northern Italy, Padua does not appear to have been either very important or very active. Once products have been scanned, they are put directly in the shopping cart, which has a special dock on the counter for this purpose. At the Diet of Aix-la-Chapelle (828), the duchy and march of Friuli, in which Padua lay, was divided into four counties, one of which took its title from that city. An advantage of this was that the cashiers could already type in the prices of all the articles on the conveyer belt even if the customers were blocking the process by not putting the articles quickly enough back into their shopping cart. The city did not easily recover from this blow, and Padua was still weak when the Franks succeeded the Lombards as masters of north Italy.

Aldi was, however, a latecomer to barcode scanners, and many stores only added them in 2004; previously, cashier clerks would manually enter a three-digit code for each item from memory (Aldi Nord) or the price (Aldi Süd). The simple people fled to the hills and returned to eke out a living among the ruins; the ruling class abandoned the city for Laguna, according to a chronicle. Cashiers save additional time by preparing the most likely amount of change while the customer is still searching for money in his/her wallet. The Padua of Antiquity was annihilated: the remains of an amphitheater (the Arena) and some bridge foundations are all that remain of Roman Padua today. Products have very long barcodes covering several sides of the packaging to speed this procedure. Under the Lombards the city of Padua rose in revolt (601) against Agilulf, the Lombard king, and after suffering a long and bloody siege was stormed and burned by him. Aldi's checkout procedure is highly standardized, with checkout operators sitting down in swivel chairs, passing products through a two-sided barcode scanner. The history of Padua after Late Antiquity follows the course of events common to most cities of north-eastern Italy.

Aldi do not have publicly listed telephones in stores to minimize the time checkouts are unutilised. The city was seized again by the Goths under Totila, but was restored to the Eastern Empire by Narses in 568. However, in the USA, Aldi advertises regularly via weekly newspaper inserts and Aldi television commercials have begun airing on the TBS network, and in the UK print and television ads appeared in mid-2005. It then passed under the Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric the Great, but during the Gothic War it made submission to the Greeks in 540. It claims this is a cost savings that can be passed on to consumers. Padua, in common with north-eastern Italy, suffered severely from the invasion of the Huns under Attila (452). Aldi has a policy in Germany of not advertising, apart from a weekly list of special prices called Aldi informiert (Aldi informs) that is distributed in stores, by direct mail, and sometimes printed in local newspapers. Abano nearby is the birthplace of the historian Livy, and Padua was the native place of Valerius Flaccus, Asconius Pedianus and Thrasea Paetus.

As a result, Aldi earned a great deal of customer goodwill. Its men fought for the Romans at Cannae, and the city (a Roman municipium since 45 BC (query 43?)) became so powerful that it was reported able to raise two hundred thousand fighting men. In contrast to other supermarkets, Aldi prominently listed "before and after" prices on posters in stores for months after the introduction, and generally rounded its euro prices down. The historical Padua inhabited by (Adriatic) Veneti thrived thanks to its excellent breed of horses and the wool of its sheep. Consumers believed that many merchants had used the currency changeover as a cover to increase prices, often substantially; this was later confirmed by independent studies. Padua claims to be the oldest city in north Italy; the early medieval commune justified itself by a fabled founder in the Trojan Antenor, whose relics the commune recognized in a large stone sarcophagus exhumed in the year 1274. Aldi also profited from the introduction of the euro in Germany and other countries. The trade of the district has grown to such an extent that Padua has become the central market for the whole of Veneto.

("Top quality at incredibly low prices" is an Aldi marketing slogan.). Corn and saw mills, distilleries, chemical factories, breweries, candle-works, ink-works, foundries, agricultural machine and automobile works, have been established and are flourishing. Aldi has successfully carved its own (actually rather large) niche with this approach: While shoppers may not normally like shopping in a bland or industrial-looking (and possibly congested) store, such utter lack of frills has become part of the accepted norm with Aldi, and consumers appear to be willing to accept it because of the "incredible value" they expect to get in exchange. The industry of Padua has greatly developed in modern times. These and other cost-cutting strategies save Aldi money and arguably the general price level in Aldi stores — as compared to more "upmarket" supermarkets — appears to show that at least some or most of these savings are passed on to consumer. . However, due to the efficient checkout system, a long queue does not necessarily translate into longer waiting times than in other supermarkets. Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

Long queues at the checkout counter are also relatively common, reflecting Aldi's minimal staffing levels, as well as the competitive situation in Aldi's native Germany, where long supermarket checkout lines are part of daily life. The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat. When all items on a pallet have been sold, it is replaced. Its agricultural setting is the Pianura Padovana, the "Paduan plain," edged by the Euganaean Hills praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch and Ugo Foscolo. Aldi's "strictly no frills" approach is evident for instance in that typically Aldi stores do not decorate aisles — or even fill shelves for that matter: Pallets of the products on offer are commonly simply parked alongside the aisles, and customers picking up products will gradually empty them. The city is included, with Venice (Italian Venezia), in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, population 1,600,000. Although Aldi emphasizes low prices, reports from a German consumer watchdog suggest that this does not negatively impact the quality of Aldi products. The capital of Padova province, it stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40km west of Venice and 29km southeast of Vicenza, with a population of 211,985 (2004).

American Aldi stores also feature bargain-priced, gourmet foods imported from Germany. Patavium) is the economic and communications hub of the Veneto region in northern Italy. Aldi mainly sells exclusively produced, custom-branded products (often identical to and produced by major brands) with brand names including "Grandessa" and "Fit and Active". Padova IPA ['padova], Lat. Aldi is the largest wine retailer in Germany. The city of Padua (It. In the past some of Aldi's early computer offers, created some kind of hysteria in Germany, with all available items sold in only a few hours. This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, a publication in the public domain..

The specials are only available in strictly limited quantities and for a limited timeframe (one week). Close by the Eremitani, in the site of an old Roman arena, is the small Scrovegni Chapel whose inner walls are entirely covered with paintings by Giotto. Although not always available, but regulary put up for sale are clothing, toys, flowers, gifts. The old monastry of the church now houses the municipal art gallery. Additionally to the standard assortment Aldi also has weekly special offers, some of them on more expensive products such as electronics, appliances or computers, usually from Medion. The Church of the Eremitani is an Augustinian church of the 13th century, distinguished as containing the tombs of Jacopo (1324) and Ubertino (1345) da Carrara, lords of Padua, and for the chapel of SS James and Christopher, formerly illustrated by Mantegna's frescoes, largely destroyed by the Allies in World War II, because it was housing a German headquarter. Also it allowed Aldi to avoid the use of price tags even before the introduction of barcode scanners (see below). One of the best known symbols of Padua is the "Prato della Valle", a 90.000 sq meters elliptical square believed to be the biggest in Europe, after Red Square in Moscow.

This increases the numbers of sales for each article and also allows Aldi stores to be smaller than supermarkets which cover the same range of products but with more diversity. On the piazza in front of the church is Donatello's magnificent equestrian statue of "Gattamelata" (Erasmo da Narni), the Venetian general (1438-1441), which was cast in 1453, the first full-size equestrian bronze cast since antiquity; it was inspired by the Marcus Aurelius equestrian sculpture at the Capitoline Hill in Rome. One reason for Aldi's success is that the number of brands is very limited, you usually don't find more than two different brands for one kind of product and often only one. The bones of the saint rest in a chapel richly ornamented with carved marbles, the work of various artists, among them of Sansovino and Falconetto; the basilica was begun about the year 1230 and completed in the following century; tradition says that the building was designed by Nicola Pisano; it is covered by seven cupolas, two of them pyramidal. Aldi specializes in staple items such as food, beverages, sanitary articles and other inexpensive household items. The most famous of the Paduan churches is the basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, locally simply called "Il Santo".
Aldi Süd operates in. Falconetto was the architect of Alvise Cornaro's garden loggia, (Loggia Cornaro), the first fully Renaissance building in Padua [1].

Aldi Nord operates in. In the Piazza dei Signori is the beautiful loggia called the Gran Guardia, (1493 - 1526), and close by is the Palazzo del Capitanio, the residence of the Venetian governors, with its great door, the work of Giovanni Maria Falconetto, the Veronese architect-sculptor who introduced Renaissance architecture to Padua and who completed the door in 1532. In principle, the two firms share nothing but the name and a similar corporate identity; however, they describe their relationship as a "friendly alliance" and there appear to be agreements between the two insofar that they do not compete directly with each other and (except for Germany) never both operate in the same countries. The new space was refrescoed by Nicolo' Miretto and Stefano da Ferrara, working from 1425 to 1440. The companies have since expanded internationally, into other European, North American, and Australian markets. The Palazzo was begun in 1172 and finished in 1219; in 1306 Fra Giovanni, an Augustinian friar, covered the whole with one roof; originally there were three roofs, spanning the three chambers into which the hall was at first divided; the internal partition walls remained till the fire of 1420, when the Venetian architects who undertook the restoration removed them, throwing all three spaces into one and forming the present great hall, the Salone. The chains initially covered the respective different regions of the then-West Germany. The Palazzo della Ragione, with its great hall on the upper floor, is reputed to have the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe; the hall is nearly rectangular, its length 815 m, its breadth 27 m, and its height 24 m; the walls are covered with allegorical frescoes; the building stands upon arches, and the upper storey is surrounded by an open loggia, not unlike that which surrounds the basilica of Vicenza.

Thus today, Aldi consists of Aldi Nord (Aldi North) (where tobacco sales were deemed to be acceptable) and Aldi Süd (Aldi South) (where they were not; however Aldi Süd began selling tobacco products in 2003). In the year 1961, the then-Aldi chain of supermarket stores split into two sister companies (each belonging to one of the brothers) over a dispute whether to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products at the checkout. Back then, it comprised only one small food shop. The company was founded in 1946 by the brothers Karl and Theo Paul Albrecht in Essen, Germany.

. Its spartan stores with low prices on a limited range of goods can now be found in more than a dozen countries. Historically, Aldi is said to have been Germany's first real discount supermarket. The company's name stands for Albrecht-Discount, using the founders' last name.

It is actually two separate companies but is commonly referred to as one. Aldi is an international hard discount supermarket chain based in Germany. Kwiksave (UK Only). Netto (1200 stores).

Lidl (5000 stores). USA. United Kingdom. Switzerland.

Slovenia (where it operates under the name Hofer). Ireland. Austria (where it operates under the name Hofer). Australia.

Southern Germany. Spain. Portugal (coming soon). The Netherlands.

Luxembourg. France. Denmark. Belgium.

Northern Germany.

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