Can Aldi Compete With Wal-Mart?

An analyst quoted in this New York Times article poses an interesting theory: Deep discounter Aldi will one day compete head-to-head with Wal-Mart. We hadn’t heard this one before.

According to this online fact sheet, the closely held German grocer has 950 stores in the US and this year will open more than 100 units here, entering Florida and Rhode Island. Texas is on tap for next year.

It seems like there is room for the chain’s growth, especially during these times when many tenants have either cut back on their expansion plans or are closing stores. Plus, with the current economic conditions being what they are, 99-cent heads of lettuce and $3.49 frozen pizzas don’t sound too bad.

We know that Aldi has created a lot of buzz in this industry for years, but they’re awfully quiet. To compete with the juggernaut that is Wal-Mart, wouldn’t the chain have to ramp up its marketing efforts and launch a higher profile. Or would that just spoil a good thing?

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9 Responses to “Can Aldi Compete With Wal-Mart?”


  1. 1 E September 9, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Wal Mart with a competitor? Who’da thunk?

    Wer rastet, der rostet (German – loosely, it means “He who rests, rusts).

    No one ever accused Wal Mart of complancency, so this international “in-road” can’t help but “help,” with consumers perhaps the winner!

  2. 2 Faye Ausmus September 9, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Wal-Mart started in small markets. they are now seem to be concentrating on super-stores, leaving the small markets open to competitors. I have a great New Center in Lago Vista, Tx. which would be great for a store such as this.

    832-563-4157 How do we get the information to them?

  3. 4 Chris T September 9, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Never hear of them, but then I’m on the industrial investment side of things and don’t follow retail much. Like I said, never heard of them!

  4. 5 Gerard T September 10, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Haven’t you heard about Aldi? They are the self procalimed Walmart “ankle biters”!

  5. 6 Kevin McCluskey September 10, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Aldi is to Europe as Walmart is to the US.

    They are the brains behind Trader Joe’s and you can see it in their sharp picing.

    Aldi’s stores are rather bland but they sure understand pricing.

  6. 7 Nancy H September 10, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Their website says their first store opened in Iowa in 1976. Currently they are in 28 states of the U.S., but have really expanded throughout Europe, too. Interesting. I would love to see Walmart with a major competitor. Especially if they (Aldi) treat their employees like humans and don’t try to put their suppliers out of business with “exclusive” rights choke-holds. Unfortunately, in Arizona we don’t have Aldi, yet – just a boat-load of Walmarts, so this was the first I had heard of them. I can’t speak to their marketing efforts in states where they have stores – but their commercials (on their website) are okay. They charge a quarter for a shopping cart – probably helps them keep prices lower. And they have a pretty catchy tagline – “Shop Aldi Smart.” I’d love to see them expand into more states.

  7. 8 Nominal Walmart Competitor September 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    While Aldi is on the right track, with their own appeal, brand and “take” on things, they are not really in the Wally World League, just yet. Part of Walmart’s competitive advantage stems from a superior IT, satellite communications network and strong technology-enabled culture; an advantage that requires major capital outlay to initiate and maintain (in the millions).

  8. 9 BigBrother October 8, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Wally World (Wal-Mart) is the new big brother, so I doubt that Aldi can compete in the same league. Let’s just HOPE that Aldi is nothing like Big Lots, who just asked all of their customers for their DATE OF BIRTH before checking them out at the cash register! OUTRAGEOUS!!!!! Perhaps their clueless executives don’t realize that’s not only a privacy violation but a HUGE POTENTIAL LIABILITY FOR THE RETAILER. Retailers are already SHRINKING IN FEAR from the amount of potential liability they have for letting their customers credit card numbers get stolen from Operations computer laptops.


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