Congratulations Aldi, Inc.

We are constantly evolving. As a retailer, it is important to stay current.  We can’t be stale.

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ALDI has been operating in the United States for nearly 40 years and has been a retailer in Illinois for more than 30 years. Headquartered in Batavia, Illinois, new Divisions opened up in Denton, Texas, in 2010, Jefferson, Georgia, in 2011 and Royal Palm Beach, Florida, in 2015. Future plans for growth include expanding its presence in existing markets and entering new markets such as Southern California.

Currently, there are 200 stores in Illinois and more than 1,400 in the U.S.

 For its innovation in the industry, generosity to the communities it serves and its dedication to its employees and customers, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association is honored to name ALDI Inc. the 2015 Illinois Retailer of the Year.

Illinois is currently home to 200 ALDI locations, employing more than 3,000 of its residents. While ALDI was historically considered a discount grocery store, its target Aldimarket today has greatly expanded. “We attract smart shoppers who trust ALDI to consistently provide great quality products at everyday low prices,” explained Heather Moore, vice president of ALDI Dwight Division in Illinois. “Our market is anyone who needs groceries. We have high-quality products and fun seasonal items. Who wouldn’t want that for up to 50* percent less?”

The ALDI philosophy is based on a unique business model that enables the store to provide high-quality products at the lowest possible prices.  This  value  stems  from  the numerous efficiencies and innovations that have been instituted at every level of the operation. Each store offers shoppers the most commonly purchased grocery and household products in a smaller, more manageable shopping environment.

However, efficient operations and low-cost items are not what make ALDI so extraordinary; it is the quality, inventive alterations and improvements they have made to the conventional grocery business model.

 *Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

 ‘ALDI is honored to receive this award.  We have been proud to partner with IRMA, and its subsidiary, CRMA, on the important issues retailrs face in the state and the City of Chicago.  They are proactive in reaching out to its members for input and keep open lines of communication.

ALDI Inc.

simply smarter shopping pageMore than 90 percent of the products stocked throughout the store are ALDI exclusive brands. This private label approach is achieved when a product is aldi fruitmanufactured or packaged for sale under the name of the retailer rather than that of the manufacturer. ALDI maintains high quality products through continual in-house taste testing at its Test Kitchen in Batavia, Illinois. Product sampling takes place every day, with each specific product tested a minimum of twice a year. If a product does not meet the rigorous sampling and testing against national brands, ALDI asks the supplier to improve the product. Quality is ensured to be the same, or higher, than national brands. Each ALDI food product is backed   by   the   Double  Guarantee,     which

replaces the product and refunds the customer’s money if they are not 100 percent satisfied. The exclusive brand approach means consumers pay less for high-quality products because of the concentrated buying power and savings from other operational efficiencies.

Employees: Most Valuable Asset

ALDI gives community members the opportunity to get more when they shop at ALDI, and its employees the opportunity to be more when they work at ALDI.

aldi manager
Galesburg Store Manager, Dave Milligan,
organizing the fresh produce section

The company expresses a true belief that its store employees are the face of the ALDI shopping experience and its most valuable asset. The hard work of each staff member makes it possible to uphold the company philosophy.

Employees work at ALDI because of its commitment to career development, promoting a cooperative work environment  and   providing  an   excellent benefitspackage.  ALDI has a strong track record of paying its employees market-leading wages and benefits well above minimum wage requirements. In fact, ALDI offers its employees generous compensation and rewards employees with frequent salary increases commensurate with time of service, which is one way the company recruits and retains the best and brightest talent.

 Heather Moore began her career with ALDI 20 years ago as a District Manager. Heather was promoted to Director of Purchasing in 2007 before accepting her current position as Vice President of the Dwight Division in Illinois. “I’m here because of the employees. The people at ALDI are so committed to its team members and customers.”

Dave Milligan, the ALDI store manager in Galesburg, has been an employee with ALDI for 29 years. “The benefits are unbelievable,” Dave answered when asked why he has been with ALDI so long, “It’s like a family here. Everyone jumps in and does what they need to do to get the job done.” Dave said that no two days are the same and added, “I like seeing community members come into the store and get excited about a new product they found.”

Every ALDI store has a dynamic, responsive and dedicated team with a leader, just like Dave, who personifies these same qualities. The company’s management structure is designed to create a cooperative atmosphere where employees learn together and from each other.

Eliminating the Need to Decide Between Saving Money and Eating Healthy

Smart shoppers have found that switching from national brands to ALDI exclusive brands can save them up to 50 percent* on the most commonly purchased grocery items.

These savings empower residents throughout Illinois to provide their families with healthy food items without exceeding their budget. Over the past several years, ALDI has enhanced its product offerings to provide customers with even more options they can feel good about.

  • SimplyNature: Free from more than 125 ingredients, and also includes several organic and non-GMO items.

  • liveGfree:A line of gluten-free food items ranging from fresh bread and cereal to pasta and cake mix.

  • Fresh Produce: ALDI has increased its fresh produce offerings and currently caries a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including some organic options.

    School-Lunches4
    Infographic on the ALDI blog that encourages healthy eating at school.
    Source: Simply Smarter Living blog

In addition to offering a variety of health-conscious products and educating shoppers about nutrition information on the front of product packages, ALDI has created the ALDI Advisory Council.

The council is comprised of five registered dietitians who specialize in family nutrition, sports performance and promoting a positive body image. Together, council members select dozens of ALDI products based on their nutritional profile to help guide shoppers in their purchasing decisions. This information, along with many other seasonal recipes, must-have ingredients and more, are featured on the Simply Smarter Living blog.

The Simply Smarter Living blog, along with its social media channels and highly interactive website, extends the ALDI experience to computers, tablets and phones – just another example of innovation to adapt to emerging technology and trends.

These sites not only engage consumers through technology but connectonarelatable, seasonal level aswell. Featuring everything from gluten-free game day recipes to ideas for healthy lunches, as depicted in the image on the right, consumers can navigate their way through tips to save money and find fun food ideas.

Shoppers are also able to find ways to not only eat healthy but eat within their dietary restrictions. One Simply Smarter Living blog follower wrote,

“My adult son has celiac disease… I was thrilled when you brought in a line of gluten-free products. I make dinner for him and his wife once a week and keep a supply of these products on-hand. They buy them for their home also. Your prices are way more reasonable than others!”

The ALDI exclusive liveGfree product line caters to the needs of today’s families, offering quick and easy gluten-free options made from the most premium quality ingredients that everyone can enjoy. ALDI is constantly evolving to offer customers and their families a range of high quality food options at competitive prices. In fact, the liveGfree Gluten Free Pizza was nameda 2015 Product of the Year in the Convenience Meal category. Product of the Year is the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation. In partnership with the leading global research company, TNS, more than 40,000 consumers were surveyed to assess consumer opinions on innovation, use, satisfaction and purchase intent of the competing products.

Q & A with ALDI

Q.Does ALDI carry brand names?

Shoppers will find that more than 90 percent of the products in our stores are ALDI exclusive brands. ALDI exclusive brands allow us to provide the same high-quality products without passing on all of the hidden costs associated with the national brands, such as marketing and advertising. We also offer a limited selection of national brands in addition to our ALDI exclusive brands for our customers who have strong brand preferences, yet would like to complete more of their grocery shopping at ALDI. We may also carry a national brand if we are not able to procure an exclusive brand product that meets or exceeds the quality and taste of the national brand.

Q.Why do I need a quarter to use a shopping cart at ALDI?

The shopping cart rental system is one of many ALDI efficiencies that enable us to keep our prices so low. Not only do customers get their deposit back, but there are no stray carts taking up space in the parking lot or causing dents to cars. By not having to hire someone to police the shopping carts, we are able to pass the savings on to our customers.

  Q.  Where do you draw the line between providing great customer service versus eliminating non-essentials to provide great prices?

New customers maybe surprised by the simple, yet innovative systems we have in place, and usually come to appreciate their many benefits. Our staff offers exceptional service to each customer they serve. Employees are cross trained in all aspects of the store and dedicate themselves to helping, where needed. When a customer shops at ALDI, the staff members become a part of their daily routine and make it a point to brighten and simplify their day.

Illinois Retailers of the Year 1978-2015

1978: Art Holmes, Schwenker-Mougin, Inc. Moline 1997:  Carol & Jim Baum, Baum’s, Morris
1979:  Martin Seidel, Seidel Apparel Corp, East St. Louis 1998:  Mary & Phil Good, Good’s Furniture, Kewanee
1980:  Gemon Henderson, Henderson’s, Lombard 1999:  Greg Josefowicz, Jewel-Osco, Melrose Park
1981: Bill Clapp, Clapp’s Supermarket, Dwight 2000:  Retailers of the Century
1982:  J. Faye Wham, The Smat Shop, Centralia 2001;  Gary & Dale Kirlin, Kirlin’s, Quincy
1983:  Greg Ziegler, LyleA. Ziegler Hardware Co., Elgin 2002:  Mike Roberts, McDonald’s
1984: David O’ Webb, Robeson’s Department Store, Champaign 2003:  Gary & Deanna Martin, Scotchman’s, Watseka
1985:  Hugh Muncy honored at Retirement 2004:  Bob Abt, Abt Electronics, Glenview
1986:  Martin Newman, Martin Newman Shoe Co. , Jacksonville 2005:  The Phillip’s Family, Phillip’s Flowers, Westmont
1987: Bernard Brennan, Montgomery Ward, Chicago 2006:  Lee & Sherrill Blankeship, Village Commons Bookstore, DeKalb
1988:  Harold Gaede, Gaede’s Wheaton 2007:  Charter Members:  IRMA’s 50th Anniversary
1989:  Richard Niemann, Sr., Niemann Foods, Quincy 2008:  JCPenney Company
1990:  Bill Fisher, Fisher’s Appliance & TV, Cherry Valley 2009:  Al Weiss, Uncle Dan’s LTD, Chicago
1991:  Fritz Fehrenbacher, Fehrenbacher’s, Joliet 2010:  Bob Jones, American Sale, Tinley Park
1992:  George Kutsunis, GWK Enterprises, Geneseo 2011:  Mel & Art Potash, Potash Markets, Chicago
1993:  Jerry Henderson, Henderson’s, Sycamore 2012:  Tim & Ann Lehan, Lehan Drugs, DeKalb
1994:  Charles Walgreen III, Walgreens 2013:  David Vite honored at retirement
1995:  Daniel J. Skoda, Marshall Fields, Chicago 2014: Ron & Paul Kozy, Kozy’s Cyclery, Chciago
1996:  Robert Mariano, Dominick’s Finer Foods

 2015 Retailer of the Year:

 Aldi

 

Thank you Reception Host:

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Thank you Luncheon Host:

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Thank you Event Sponsors:

Altria Client Services Inc. IL Food Retailers Assn. Pepsi
American Petroleum Institute IL Manufacturers’ Assn. Sears Holdings Corporation
AT&T Illinois Jewel-Osco Speedway
Best Buy Co., Inc. Macy’s Target Corporation
Commonwealth Edison Mariano’s The Home Depot
CVS Health McDonald’s Corporation The Inland Real Estate Corporation
Diageo National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores The Kroger Company
Exxon Mobile Corporation Northstar Lottery Group Walgreen Co.