‘Streamlining the grocery business’

Lewis O. Powell IV Staff Writer

August 22, 2013

Aldi’s touted efficiency was on full display this morning at the opening of their new LaGrange store. The ribbon cutting was short and sweet and then customers immediately began streaming in to get down to the business of shopping.

Mark Arsenault, the store’s manager said that Aldi was “very happy to be here in LaGrange.” He went on to explain the efficiency and streamlining that part of the store’s mission. “The company is streamlining the grocery business to stretch the dollar for the consumer.”

We’re here to “cut costs but not quality,” he continued.

The company started in Germany in 1913 and the proprietor’s sons took over the business later under the name “Aldi,” short for “Albrecht Discount.”

By keeping the stores small and relentlessly examining efficiency, the chain has grown by leaps and bounds throughout Europe. With stores throughout Europe, Australia and the United States, the company operates approximately 8,000 stores worldwide.

Here in the United States, the company operates some 1,200 Aldi locations as well as the popular Trader Joe’s supermarket chain.

Arsenault notes that Aldi’s popularity locally even leads people to travel to Fayetteville — the closest Aldi location — to shop in the store. “Now they don’t have to go so far,” he remarks.

The store has few frills, but it is designed that way to keep the costs down. The store features a warehouse-style layout without shelving. Goods are displayed in open cartons which allows the store to occupy a smaller physical footprint.

Use of carts requires a quarter deposit that is redeemed when the customer returns the cart to the corral. “It helps keep down personal damage in parking lots and saves on having to have people round up the carts,” states the manager.

Purchases are also not bagged by the cashier. Either a customer can provide their own bags or they may purchase bags in the store. Again, this leads to cost savings.

For the opening this morning, the parking lot was packed and a long line had already formed before the ribbon cutting to check out the new store.

Aldi is located at the corner of New Franklin Road and Mooty Bridge Road.