Walmart has an unexpected competitor coming under its radar. The new competition, Aldi, hails from Germany and is taking Europe by storm. Its a grocery giant that is like Walmart, known for its highly discounted products. Here is the history of the grocery giant taking the world by storm:
Image via Germany Travel
Aldi, also known as Albrecht Discount, was opened in 1913 in Essen, Germany by Anna Albrecht in 1913. Her sons Theodore and Karl took over in 1948 and began its expansion.
However, expansion did not go so smooth. In the 1960s, the brothers split the company in half because they disagreed over if Aldi should sell cigarettes or not. Theodore controlled all the stores in the north, calling them Aldi Nord and sold cigarettes. Karl controlled all the stores in the south, calling them Aldi Sud, and did not sell cigarettes.
Image via Handelssblatt
In 1968, Aldi Sud had more than 200 store locations in Germany and were beginning their expansion into America. Aldi Nord was still kept separate and expanded more into Europe but also America. The first USA Aldi store opened in 1976 in southern Iowa.
Image via Gloucestershire.com
In 1979, Theodore got a little but ahead of his brother and purchased the American grocery chain Trader Joe’s. He grew it to be a healthier, more premium version of Aldi. To this day, Aldi still controls Trader Joe’s.
Image via NBC News
By 2000, Aldi expanded all over Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, Slovenia, and Hungary. By 2011, Florida, Texas, Connecticut, and Georgia all were filled with Aldi stores. Aldi managed to grow this fast by mainly selling discounted private-label food food from Trader Joe’s and by limiting the time the store is open.
Today, Aldi has 1600 stores spread around 35 states. They also have tens of thousands locations around the globe.
Image via Food Navigator
By 2022, Aldi plans to have 2500 stores open in the US. They are investing $5.3 billion into expanding the chain in America, adding new products and locations. This track puts Aldi at very close competition for the number one largest grocery chain in the near future. Watch your back Walmart, the Europeans are coming for you!