Aldi caters to evolving customer base

Jim Hertel, senior vice president at Inmar Analytics in Winston-Salem, NC, said Aldi BB #:116756 isn’t so much changing its strategy but refining execution.

Management has “recognized their core shopper is middle- to upper-middle-class, so they’ve changed location strategies and contemporized the store itself. The stores are not extravagant by any means, but they’re very pleasant.”

As more consumers gravitate to Aldi and consider making it their primary grocery store, fresh produce looms large.

Hertel said that while 90 percent of Aldi’s overall assortment is private label, a few branded products like Bland Farms Vidalia onions can be found in the produce department as the chain looks to establish and strengthen its credibility.

“It’s an interesting twist on their typical approach,” he said.

Other store updates include more natural lighting, wider aisles, open ceilings, and displays of highlighted items, such as its “Produce Picks” section.

“In terms of fresh produce, Aldi clearly has shown definite improvement over the last couple of years,” said Brian Numainville, principal at Retail Feedback Group.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full version.