Aldi: 30 things you didn’t know about the discount supermarket

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Aldi has grown in popularity over the past few years due to their low prices and good quality food items. It now has an eight percent market share and is the UK’s fifth largest grocery retailer. From Specialbuys to speedy till service, the discount supermarket offers a whole variety of goods for their customers. Aldi have shared with Express.co.uk some secret facts customers may not know. 

The first supermarket opened the doors to its first UK store in Stechford, Birmingham, 30 years ago. 

Fast forward to 2020, the retailer has almost 900 stores nationwide, all of different sizes and offering different groceries. 

Aldi says it will be opening the equivalent to a new store every week this year. In fact, it aims to have 1,200 UK stores by 2025. 

The discount supermarket is a German retailer and had a presence in Germany way before it came to the UK. 

Brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht took over their mother’s grocery store in the German city of Essen and its name comes from a combination of the founders’ surname Albrecht with the word discount. 

The supermarket started off with just five colleagues in 1990 and now has over 36,000 staff today. 

Aldi said: “There are also 14 workers who have been with Aldi ever since 1990 and that includes Ann from Aldi’s New Oscott Store who has worked at four different stores over the last 30 years, plus Maria, a Store Assistant at the Middleton store.”

A big misconception about Aldi is that they must pay their staff very little in order to keep their grocery prices low. However, this is far from the truth as the discount retailer is actually the UK’s best-paying supermarket. 

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Aldi explained: “Aldi is the UK’s best-paying supermarket. Minimum hourly rates for store colleagues are £9.40 nationally and £10.90 inside the M25, rising to £10.41 and £11.15 respectively depending on how long you’ve worked at the store.”

The minimum current wage for anyone over the age of 25 is currently £8.72, meaning Aldi pays their workers very well. 

However jobs at Aldi don’t come easily, their Graduate Programme received 33,000 applications this year and their Apprenticeship Programme receives an average of 25,000 applications a year. 

Whilst all Aldi products now come with a unique barcode like all grocery stores, it wasn’t until 2001 this came into stores.

Aldi continued: “Until 2001, all in-store Aldi colleagues had to remember the prices of 750 products instead of ringing them through the tills. When things became automated, check out suddenly became much speedier.”

Have you ever wondered why Aldi colleagues are so speedy at the checkout? According to Aldi, there are multiple barcodes across the packaging which purposefully help the checkout workers scan food quicker. 

Another feature that helps speed up shopping is that Aldi stores must all have the exact same layout, making it much easier for shoppers to navigate the aisles. 

Aldi is renowned for its Specialbuys which go on sale weekly every Wednesday and Saturday nights and once they’re gone, they’re gone. The Aldi insider said to get the best chances of getting your hands on a Specialbuy, customers should wait outside a shop the next morning to avoid disappointment.

Aldi explained: “Specialbuys were launched online in 2016. They seem to get better and better each year, with the most popular ever being the Hanging Egg Chair this year, selling out in approximately four minutes.”

To date, the most requested Specialbuys item to bring back into stores was an outdoor log burner from 2019. It was selling for £59.99 and was relaunched into stores this year after popular demand. 

One of Aldi’s popular themed products is Kevin the Carrot with one in four households owning a related product. 

This year, the supermarket is also expecting to sell over a million turkeys at Christmas as well as 54 million mince pies and two million Christmas puddings – they are already busy preparing for Santa’s big day.

Another feature that makes the supermarket so popular is their Super Six fruit and vegetable deals. It offers fruit and veg to customers each week at super low prices. 

The offer began in 2008 and it was once named ‘Select 6’.

They also shared how Aldi’s Mamia and baby toddler brand is the UK’s number one supermarket nappy brand and the second largest brand overall. 

The discount chain also promises to remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic over the next five years as well as all of its electricity coming from 100 percent renewable, green sources from 2017. 

None of their cleaning or beauty products are tested on animals and they are one of four supermarkets to gain the Leaping Bunny certification. 

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