This Month’s Company I Love: Aldi

Maybe it’s the jealousy over my parents being in Germany for Octoberfest, but I’m loving the German Grocer Aldi recently.

So much so I’ve stopped tweeting at the grocery store. The efficiency of Aldi doesn’t lead to a time-wasting activity such as tweeting while shopping. If I stop in an aisle, I need a purpose. Tweeting isn’t a good enough reason. Too much efficiency.

Aldi is hands down one of the most efficient companies in the world.

The summer of 2005, I was sixteen years old. I pushed carts and bagged groceries at Gerbes all summer. I hate to think my job can be considered meaningless, but there’s no such thing as a cart pusher or bagger at Aldi. The checkers throw the cart and you bag them yourself. And the carts? Ohhh man the carts. Aldi-QuarterForCartSign-2

The quarter-for-a-cart idea might be the best retail idea I’ve ever heard of. There’s a sign that explains it to you outside every store. You pay a quarter for your cart, and when you bring it back, you get your quarter back. You’ll never ever find a shopping cart in a seemingly empty parking space. You’ll never have a teenage worker faint in the summer heat from pushing carts (*cough* me *cough*).

There’s never more than 4-5 workers at one Aldi at one time. This may seem problematic. The check-out lines can get a little long, but I go right after work and Schnucks is no better. I’ve never had to ask an Aldi worker where I can find an item. There’s 4 aisles and you just weave around and get your items and in 20 minutes, you’re done. No wild goose chase. How long does it take you to walk through every aisle of your grocery store? They only carry the essentials, and 90% of the time that’s fine. I’ll go to Schnucks for craft beer or random cooking items when I need to, but Aldi carries only what I need every week or two.

And it’s so cheap. I’ve completely filled my shopping cart many times and have never paid over $70. I’ve literally had to ask the checker before, “Are you serious?”

I refuse to believe the quality is worse than the average grocer. Hell, 90% of Germans  shop at Aldi’s sister store. The prices are cheap because of the efficiency, not the food quality. Believe it.

Aldi. BMW. Octoberfest.

Germans know what they’re doing.

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