There’s a reason why high end stores such as Nordstrom’s, J. Crew and Macy’s are closing up (click here) while discount chains such as Dollar General, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below are surging. If there’s one thing ALL of us have learned from The 2008 Great Recession is that there will always be instability in the economy. The lower end grocery chain store, Aldi has been silently building up on this momentum for the last decade here in America. “Over the last 10 years, they’ve really flourished in the US,” said Mikey Vu, partner at Bain. “There’s instability in the economy. People are worried. They’re paying much closer attention to pennies on their grocery purchases than ever before.”
CNN just wrote this scathing report on how Aldi, the no-frills German discount grocery chain, is brutally taking over the American food market (click here).
For Aldi, part of its success lies in appealing not only to low or mid-income shoppers, but to wealthier ones as well. Aldi’s core shopper tends to make more money and have a slightly higher education level than the overall grocery shopper, according to Bain. In recent years, Aldi has ramped up its efforts to appeal to high-income shoppers by offering more fresh, organic produce as well as imported items like Irish cheese, brioche from France and pastas from Italy. The stores now offer private-label versions of kombucha, cold-pressed juices, an array of gluten-free products and peanut butter powder.
I personally exclusively food shop at Aldi because I can eat like a rich person without breaking my bank. Aldi carries a long line of gourmet foods, gluten-free foods and seasonal international delicacies I love but could not afford otherwise, if it were not for Aldi. How cool is that? It’s striking that the photos in the CNN article depict mostly older, disabled people shopping at Aldi. That is furthest from the truth. CNN should stop at my Aldi branch. They’ll see all the BMWs and Mercedes parked outside in the parking lot. Aldi first started out opening up retail stores in the poorest of neighborhoods. Not any more. Shopping at Aldi has now become a cult. Hopefully, I was one of their first groupies.
MY MOTTO HAS ALWAYS BEEN: “I DON’T WANT TO BE RICH. I JUST LIKE TO LIVE LIKE ONE.”