Thursday, August 14, 2008

Albrecht Discount

While walking on the beach on our morning sojourn, Bella uncovered a set of keys. The water was very high and I thought to myself (kinda Smith Family Robinson thinkin') that someone would really miss their keys, especially the GM car key on the ring. So I got my thinking cap on and decided to Survivor it and I found a stick, planted it in the sand and put the keys on it. It was very satisfying. (Did I just actually write that?) Yep.

I was reading an article (or rather G was reading it to me) about
grocery stores. They are discount grocery stores and there are 157 in Chicago alone. The people that own it also own Trader Joe's. Some interesting stuff that they do: you have to pay $.25 for a deposit on a cart so that you bring it back (eliminating an employee to gather up the carts). You bag your own goods and if you do not bring in your own bags, you need to purchase them from Aldi. The food is up to 40% less that regular grocery stores. They have mostly their own brands (not to say that they are inferior) and they carry only 1500 items compared to 45,000 in the big stores. And they have fresh produce. There is a store in the neighboring town and I think I will give it a look see.


Donna said...

Hi Tommy:

We have had grocery stores like that here for many years. They do tend to be a little cheaper, and most people who shop there do bring their own bags, or you can get boxes in the store, but plastic bags, you pay for. The quarter for the shopping cart does not always work though, since it is only a quarter, people leave the carts rather then take them back and collect the coin. They can't be bothered walking back for a measly quarter. Quite often you see people in the parking lot gathering up the abandoned buggies and returning them to get the money. Some days, especially cold and rainy ones, it would probably be a profitable little undertaking.

Anonymous said...

I don't often comment but I read you news everyday. Thanks for an 'always fun' blog!
This is the common in SW france. As a tourist it never occurred to me to carry a shopping bag, but now when we are there I always make sure there is a bag or two in the car.

Cindra said...

I always carry my own bags. I even got a refrigerator bag at Whole Foods to carry frozen goods.

My sister-in-law bought a laptop at Aldi's recently and it was a wonderful deal. Wish we had those down here.

Anonymous said...

I have the biggest grin on my face just now. Seeing Aldi on your blog!!!Imagine!. I consider myself part-owner of Aldi. I have been shopping there for the past 30+years and weekly! We started shopping there when we were young and freshly married, husband was a student and we had a fixed amt to live on, so it was divided up perfectly each week.

This is a German family owned business. There are 2 brothers (retired now, of course) who took over their mother's little village store. They managed the growing business together until they had an argument/quarrel over whether it was acceptable to offer things like cigarettes, sweets etc at the cashier/check-out counter. They then separated and 1 stayed in Southern Germany which is the one who took the business to the USA, Aldi Süd. The other, Aldi Nord does business in Europe BUT he went to the USA too and purchased Trader Joe's and kept the name. Apparently, there is an agreement that they shouldn't operate in the same country together using the same name, except of course, in Germany. They pretty much have Europe and the USA divided among them on the map!
A very ethically correct business which tries to give you the best quality products for your money.
They pay their workers very well, hiring qualified people then sparing no expense in training them. Their employees are genuinely nice and helpful.
I think their business is based on a maximum profit of 2cents per product/sale.....but don't quote me on that.
They now have a competitor in Europe called Lidl....looks the same, set up in a similar manner even the location of goods in the supermarkets are displayed the same row for row, but their staff is unpleasant, they treat workers poorly, pay them poorly, just a place to avoid. The Lidl conglomerate is always involved in one scandal or another! In one location, their workers striked because of poor working conditions....what did they do? They shut the supermarket down and left town...within a week...overnight....
Aldi is a well kept secret...LOL..easily accessible, great goods and service and most of all AFFORDABLE!

Anonymous said...

Forgot to clarify for those who might not know. Aldi Süd is Aldi South...Aldi Nord is Aldi North. But readers might have guessed anyway.

Sheila in Ohio said...

It took me awhile to figure out how your title played into this piece. Duh.

I've been to Aldi's and I can't say it's the greatest experience for me, locally. Based on experience, I tend to stay away from anything refrigerated or frozen in there. I haven't been to Trader Joe's but I'm anxious now to compare them if they are run by the same company.

The cart thing cracked me up the first time I went. I could NOT figure out what the heck was going on or why I couldn't get the cart out. Then some guy was bringing his cart back and I, still oblivious, offered 'here, I'll take that for you.' He did give it to me, but looked at me very oddly the whole time. [I probably looked like a dingo to him. LOL]