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 market 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.
More than 90 percent of the products stocked throughout the store are ALDI exclusive brands. This private label approach is achieved when a product is manufactured 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.
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.
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:
Thank you Reception Host:
Thank you Luncheon Host:
Thank you Event Sponsors:
|Altria Client Services Inc.||IL Food Retailers Assn.||Pepsi|
|American Petroleum Institute||IL Manufacturers’ Assn.||Sears Holdings Corporation|
|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.|