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Exclusive Q&A: Aldi reveals keys to growth – in Texas and elsewhere

A fast-growing discount grocer addresses several customer needs to support its expansion.
Scott Huska and Karla Waddleton
Aldi divisional VPs Scott Huska and Karla Waddleton (l to r).

A fast-growing discount grocer addresses several customer needs to support its expansion.

Chain Store Age recently had a discussion with Karla Waddleton, divisional VP, Aldi, about how Aldi, which operates 2,200 stores across 38 states and has been number one for price according to the Dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Report for six years running, focuses on keeping customers coming back to its stores. Waddleton specifically addressed the retailer’s approach in the Texas market, but the grocer leverages these same strategies across the U.S.

How has Aldi successfully drawn new customers in Texas and other parts of the country in the past year?

In 2022, we welcomed nearly 400,000 new customers into our Dallas and Houston area Aldi stores. Our business model is really what has allowed us to attract a growing customer base in Texas. The new attention on Aldi proves what we’ve always known to be true; that people don’t want to spend more on groceries than they have to, especially in today’s economic environment.

At Aldi, we are committed to offering customers the best products at the lowest prices, every day. Our store layouts are designed to make life easier so Texans can get what they need and check out quickly. We’re seeing more Texans discover Aldi, and we look forward to welcoming new customers into our stores this year.

What is the Aldi strategy for keeping prices low?

Aldi is positioned to keep prices as low as possible in any market because our business model is rooted in simplicity. From the way we stock our shelves to our quarter cart system, which minimizes staff labor, we seek out opportunities to create cost savings that we can pass along to shoppers.

Texans have been hit hard by inflation on grocery prices over the past year. In Dallas, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food at home (groceries) is on par with the national average increase at nearly 10% in February; while in Houston, food prices are outpacing the national increase and up 13% year-over-year.  Regardless of the location, or the economic climate, Aldi remains committed to helping customers save as much as possible.

How does Aldi overcome continued supply chain disruption?

Much like inflation, global supply chain disruptions have impacted many retailers, including us. We work closely with our suppliers and logistics partners to make sure our shelves remain stocked and that we’re delivering the value we’re known for.

How does ALDI select a site for a store?

When it comes to choosing new store locations, we carefully consider several factors. But bottom line, we look for convenient locations for our customers that can support a high traffic volume daily.

Are there any plans for U.S. market the next 12 months you can discuss?

This year, we plan to we plan to continue our aggressive expansion. We’ve opened 1,000 stores in the last decade, and we can’t wait to see where the next decade takes us.




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