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. Immigrants by country (2004). 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). [2]. 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. But there has been a sharp increase of immigrants mostly from South America, Eastern Europe, and a very meagre number from Asia. 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. An estimated 95.3% of the population is of Italian origin.

Recently the similar Lidl chain has grown faster than Aldi; its major difference in business practice is that it stocks a few name brands. Southern and northern Italians alike have flocked to the city during the late 1900's. In Germany Aldi is occasionally jokingly called Feinkost Albrecht (approximate translation: Albrecht Deli). The population is quite homogenous Italian. stores are the only ones to offer customer toilets. Famous Genoese include Cristoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus), Admiral Andrea Doria, composers Niccolò Paganini and Michele Novaro, painter Domenico Piola, Italian patriots Giuseppe Mazzini and Gerolamo Nino Bixio, writer and translator Fernanda Pivano, poet Edoardo Sanguineti, architect Renzo Piano, Physics 2002 Nobel Prize winner Riccardo Giacconi, Literature 1975 Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale, artist Vanessa Beecroft, comedians Gilberto Govi and Paolo Villaggio, folk singers Fabrizio de André and Ivano Fossati. Aldi's U.S. In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi set out from Genoa with over a thousand volunteers to begin the campaign.

and British supermarkets. With the growth of the Risorgimento movement, the Genoese turned their struggles from Giuseppe Mazzini's vision of a local republic into a struggle for a unified Italy under a liberalized Savoy monarchy. 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 city soon gained a reputation as a hotbed of anti-Savoy republican agitation, although the union with Savoy was economically very beneficial. and U.K. Although the Genoese revolted against France in 1814 and liberated the city on their own, delegates at the Congress of Vienna sanctioned its incorporation into Piedmont (Kingdom of Sardinia), thus ending the three century old struggle by the House of Savoy to acquire the city. On the other hand, Aldi stores in the U.S. In 1797, under pressure from Napoleon, Genoa became a French protectorate called the Ligurian Republic, which was annexed by France in 1805.

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. However, with the shift in world economy and trade routes to the New World and away from the Mediterranean, Genoa's political and economic power went into steady decline. 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 1768, Genoa was forced to cede Corsica to France. 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. Genoa suffered from French bombardment in 1684, and was occupied by Austria in 1746 during the War of the Austrian Succession. 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. The famed architect Galeazzo Alessi (1512-1572) designed many of the city’s splendid palazzo.

Aldi stores worldwide are approximately the same size. At the time of Genoa’s peak in the 16th century, the city attracted many artists, including Rubens, Caravaggio, and Van Dyke. Aldi does accept MasterCard, Bankcard and Visa in Australia for an additional 1% surcharge. Under the ensuing economic recovery, many Genoese family amassed tremendous fortunes. Like most German retailers, Aldi does not accept major credit cards. The Spanish connection was reinforced by Andrea Doria, who established a new constitution in 1528, making Genoa a satellite of the Spanish Empire. Debit cards are also accepted in the USA. Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, donated one-tenth of his income from the discovery of the Americas for Spain to the Bank of San Giorgio in Genoa for the relief of taxation on foods.

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). Genoa lost Sardinia to Aragon, Corsica to internal revolt and its Middle Eastern colonies to the Ottoman Empire and the Arabs. and Britain. After a period of French domination from 1394-1409, Genoa came under rule by the Visconti of Milan. Many Aldi practices are common in German supermarkets but largely unique to Aldi in markets such as the U.S. The wars with Venice continued, and the War of Chioggia (1378-1381), ended with a victory for Venice. 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. Following the economic and population collapse, Genoa adopted the Venetian model of government, and was presided over by a doge (see Doges of Genoa).

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. The Black Death was imported into Europe in 1349 from the Genoese trading post at Kaffa (Feodosiya) in the Crimea, on the Black Sea. Despite this, and the strong price competition between such British retailers on precisely the basic goods Aldi sells, the firm apparently remains profitable. However, this prosperity did not last. 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. Genoa's political zenith came with its victory over Pisa in 1284, and its persistent rival, Venice, in 1298. 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. Internal feuds between the powerful families, the Grimaldi, Doria, Spinola, and others caused much disruption, but in general the republic was run much as a business affair.

Many individual consumers "discovered" that the poor reputation of Aldi's products was apparently undeserved. The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire, which opened opportunities of expansion into the Black Sea and Crimea. After German reunification, many German middle class families had to cut down their spending and Aldi's popularity and public acceptance grew. Genoese Crusaders brought home a green glass goblet from the Levant, which Genoese long regarded as the Holy Grail. Being held in such low esteem by many did not seem to dent Aldi's profits however. Through Genoese participation on the Crusades, colonies were established in the Mideast, in the Aegean in Sicily and Northern Africa. Loyal German soccer fans, ashamed of their favorite team's performance, were known to wear Aldi bags over their heads as a gag. The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont, Sardinia, Corsica and had practically complete control of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Aldi's customers were alleged to be only poor people who couldn't afford to shop elsewhere. Genoa was one of the so-called "Maritime Republics" (Repubbliche Marinare), along with Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi) and trade, shipbuilding and banking helped support one of the largest and most powerful navies in the Mediterranean. In West Germany, before about 1990, Aldi shops were often ridiculed as being cheap shops selling poor-quality goods. Nominally, the Holy Roman Emperor was overlord and the Bishop of Genoa was president of the city; however, actual power was wielded by a number of "consuls" annually elected by popular assembly. However, in Australia select stores do have hand baskets available. Before 1100, Genoa emerged as an independent city-state. Aldi generally does not offer hand baskets. The town was sacked and burned in 934 by arab pirates but this didn't stop for long the city's progress.

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. For the following several centuries, Genoa was little more than a small, obscure fishing center, slowly building its merchant fleet which was to became the leading commercial carrier of the Mediterranean Sea. This is why Aldi stores in Germany insist that customers use a cart; the customer is expected to bag groceries at a separate bench. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Genoa was occupied by the Ostrogoths , then by the Lombards. Once products have been scanned, they are put directly in the shopping cart, which has a special dock on the counter for this purpose. Although remaining faithful to Rome while other Ligurian and Celtic peoples of northern Italy stood by Carthaginians in the Second Punic War, its importance as a Roman port city was eclipsed by the rise of Vada Sabatia, near modern Savona. 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. Destroyed by the Carthaginians in 209 BC, the town was rebuilt by Rome, under which the city enjoyed municipal rights and exported skins, wood, and honey.

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). A city cemetery, dating from the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., testifies to the occupation of the site by the Greeks, but the fine harbor probably was in use much earlier, perhaps by the Etruscans. Cashiers save additional time by preparing the most likely amount of change while the customer is still searching for money in his/her wallet. Genoa's history goes back to ancient times. Products have very long barcodes covering several sides of the packaging to speed this procedure. . Aldi's checkout procedure is highly standardized, with checkout operators sitting down in swivel chairs, passing products through a two-sided barcode scanner. Alternatively, the name has been claimed to derive from Latin Janua ("gate"), the two-headed god Janus, or an ancient word that means "foreigners", as the early settlers were considered foreign by the neighbouring population.

Aldi do not have publicly listed telephones in stores to minimize the time checkouts are unutilised. "angle", from its geographical position, thus akin to the name of Geneva. 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. Its name is probably Ligurian, meaning "knee" (from Proto-Indo-European *genu 'knee'), i.e. It claims this is a cost savings that can be passed on to consumers. Genua was a city of the ancient Ligurians. 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. 871,733.

As a result, Aldi earned a great deal of customer goodwill. 601,338, the metropolitan area has a population of ca. 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 city has a population of ca. 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. Genoa (Italian Genova, Genoese Zena, French Gênes, German Genua, Spanish Génova,Galician Xénova) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria. Aldi also profited from the introduction of the euro in Germany and other countries. It is the oldest working lighthouse in the world, one of the five tallest ones, and the tallest brick one.

("Top quality at incredibly low prices" is an Aldi marketing slogan.). The port of Genoa is home to an ancient Lighthouse: "La Lanterna" ("the lantern"). 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. In 1922 the Genoa Conference was the first economic conference that included a representitative from the newly-communist Soviet Socialist Republics. 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. For 2004, the European Union designated Genoa as European Capital of Culture, along with the French City of Lille. However, due to the efficient checkout system, a long queue does not necessarily translate into longer waiting times than in other supermarkets. The 27th G8 summit took place in Genoa in July 2001, resulting in riots and the shooting of a protestor and a violent crackdown by the police.

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. UC Sampdoria, football club founded in 1946. When all items on a pallet have been sold, it is replaced. Genoa Cricket & Football Club founded in 1893. 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 University of Genoa, with 40,000 students (one of the larger universities in Italy,) was founded in 1481. Although Aldi emphasizes low prices, reports from a German consumer watchdog suggest that this does not negatively impact the quality of Aldi products. The Museo d'Arte Orientale is one of the largest collections of Oriental art in Europe.

American Aldi stores also feature bargain-priced, gourmet foods imported from Germany. Lawrence Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), The Old Harbor (Porto Antico), transformed into a mall by architect Renzo Piano, Via Garibaldi with its superb palaces and the monumental cemetery on Staglieno's hill. 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". Other landmarks of the city are the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), St. Aldi is the largest wine retailer in Germany. The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest in Europe. 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. It ranks second in the Mediterranean after neighbouring Marseille, France.

The specials are only available in strictly limited quantities and for a limited timeframe (one week). The port of Genoa is the first in Italy. Although not always available, but regulary put up for sale are clothing, toys, flowers, gifts. Romanians - 746. 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. Chinese - 910. Also it allowed Aldi to avoid the use of price tags even before the introduction of barcode scanners (see below). Peruvians - 1,795.

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. Moroccans - 2,189. 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. Albanians - 2,781. Aldi specializes in staple items such as food, beverages, sanitary articles and other inexpensive household items. Ecuadorians - 10,169.
Aldi Süd operates in.

Aldi Nord operates in. 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 companies have since expanded internationally, into other European, North American, and Australian markets. The chains initially covered the respective different regions of the then-West Germany.

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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