Aldi’s focus on bare-bones efficiency is all in the name of optimization and lower cost to the consumer. It’s easy to staff with lower labor costs from shorter operating hours and a value-branded expectation of little in-aisle customer service; it’s also easy to stock with its simple in-package displays. Plus, the stores are smaller and uncomplicated, so the cost of initial real estate investment, utilities, and upkeep is lower than other stores. That efficiency is what gives it an advantage over other stores.
It takes a lot more resources to keep a 148,000-square-foot Walmart store running than it does to run a 22,000-square-foot Aldi. The typical supermarket carries about 31,000 products. Aldi, however, only stocks about 1,600 products, and most of them are private-label products with good margins at lower prices than name-brand items. Aldi doesn’t even play music in its stores, so it doesn’t have to pay licensing fees.
With all of these efficiencies that make Aldi stand out among grocery chains, it’s able to offer its products at a much cheaper cost to the consumer than the national average. And in times when inflation and the cost of living are putting pressure on shoppers, Aldi’s brand thrives not just among low-income shoppers but among households earning $100,000 annually and above. In 2022 alone, Aldi claimed that it acquired 9.4 million new customers. Going into 2024, there’s no sign of slowing down.