Aldi is one of the world’s most popular supermarkets — here’s why. Picture:
Aldi is one of the world’s most popular supermarkets — here’s why. Picture:

New documentary exposes Aldi’s secrets to success

A new documentary will reveal the secrets behind the success of one of the globe's biggest budget supermarkets and Australian favourite, Aldi.

Airing on the UK's Channel 5, the program delves into how the German supermarket has succeeded after overcoming old-fashioned snobbery and fighting for the attention of shoppers with its claims of high quality and low price own-brand products.

Aldi arrived in Australia in 2001 and now nearly two decades has more than 500 stores throughout the country. It is the country's third biggest grocer.

According to a survey by Choice, Australian shoppers rated Aldi as being the best value for money when buying groceries.

The show, entitled Inside Aldi: Britain's Biggest Budget Supermarket featured ex-staff and experts who revealed the clever tricks that the retailer has used to cut costs.

SMALL CHECKOUTS HELP KEEP PRICES LOW

Experts say that a small till area means customers have to put items straight back into their trolleys and then pack them at the back of the shop. This hastens their departure from the checkout area helping staff to scan more items.

It also reveals how products have multiple barcodes so that staff can get through as many items as possible at the checkout.

These efficiency measures are one of the factors that help keep prices low.

But it hasn't always been easy for Aldi. Rival supermarkets are threatened by bargain supermarkets and a few years ago Aldi had 100 products withdrawn by suppliers.

It came after rival firms put pressure on suppliers to not trade with Aldi, over fears that the supermarket was selling items too cheaply.

ALDI'S TREASURE AISLE-LAND

The show dubbed Aldi's special buys - which appear in Australian stores in the middle aisle every Wednesday and Saturday - its very own "treasure aisle-land".

The items, which are bought in bulk and only appear in store for a couple of weeks, are part of what tempts in shoppers every week.

Experts on the documentary said that helped increase profitability for stores as shoppers pop in to buy their weekly shop but end up buying what they perceive as "luxuries" at a discount.

Aldi checkouts are small for a reason. Picture: Armen Deushian
Aldi checkouts are small for a reason. Picture: Armen Deushian

LOOKALIKE BRANDS A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

Aldi has much fewer products than a normal supermarket - just 2000 versus the typical 40,000 stocked by other chains.

A massive 95 per cent of these products are own-brand which have leaner margins giving it a tool to bring down prices.

The supermarket has also worked hard to find products that not only look like big brands but taste like them too.

APPEALING TO LOCALS

The documentary also explained how Aldi has left its German history behind to try and appeal to UK shoppers.

This includes British flags on its signage in stores, as well as sponsoring the UK athletics team.

It even swapped the store layout to put fruit and veg to the front of branches after it found it would tempt in more shoppers.

In Australia similar tactics have been used, with the supermarket stocking iconic brands such as Vegemite as well as local fresh produce.

This story first appeared in The Sun and has been edited and republished here with permission


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