ABC News Article About Aldi

Just read an interesting article regarding Aldi on the ABC News website.


Personally, I have only been to Aldi twice, the first time and the last time, when I went to their store in Mudgee, NSW.
After finding there were no trolleys inside the store, I went back outside to find one only to discover I needed a coin to unlock one, so I returned to our vehicle to get one.
I was totally underwhelmed by the very restricted range and the lack of brand name products but the final straw was when I got to the checkout.
There was just one (1) checkout open out of what appeared to be at least 10. The conveyer belt was stacked to the end and there were a lot of customers still waiting to reach the checkout with their loaded trolleys.
I walked out in total disgust never to visit an Aldi store again.
There is no Aldi store in Cairns, and if they never arrive, I won’t be upset. We prefer the brands we know and trust and we don’t need any of their strange “left field” temporary special items.

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I am not a routine Aldi shopper but we have an Aldi, Woolies, and Coles next to each other so even Aldi gets a bit of our shop from time to time. None of this is intended to defend or ‘advertise’ Aldi.

Aldi’s claim to ‘fame’ is that they only sell store branded merchandise. They have developed names and labels that remind one of the big brands but do not infringe.

Eg. Buying Logix detergent would be like buying Coles or Wooles branded detergent. It is just that instead of calling it Aldi detergent they learnt shoppers feel better about products with a brand. It works so well that both Woolies and Coles introduced ‘phantom brands’ to augment their store brands that are in reality private store brands ala the Aldi model.

Offering limited selections has also shown to be a good business model. Both Wooles and Coles have been paring and focusing their offers and tilting the mix toward their phantom and store brands. Aldi sometimes features a brand name product, but that is part of their marketing shtick not their mainstream business model.

It is noteworthy most Aldi brands are ‘value products’ (eg to a price point), but some like ‘Emporium’ branded cheeses are generally standard high quality product in Aldi packaging. An example is Ashgrove cheese as sold in their Emporium wrapper is $1 less a pack than as an Ashgrove branded pack at Woolies or Coles. And doesn’t ‘Emporium’ cheese sound better and have more cachet than ‘Aldi’ cheese? And so go their labels.

Our Aldi has 4 checkouts with only 1 usually open, but anytime it gets backed up they open another within a short time so it has been rare to see a serious wait. I have seen all 4 open with queues on busy days. Because shoppers need to pack their own product they usually put it back in the trolley so lines move quicker than a checkout chick packing one’s bags, as a general comment.

They do require the coin to get a trolley. Our Woolies and Coles did that for a few years but gave it up to try looking more upscale than the Aldi. FWIW in some council areas shops are required to use ‘deposit’ trolleys in an effort to minimise abandoned ones, and more shoppers than you would imagine take and abandon them on streets and pushed into creeks or wherever, but take them back for their $1 or $2 coin.

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I shop at Aldi, in conjunction with the other two. We heave to be thrifty, even if we like quality.

The difference between the Aldi 500g pizza I buy, and the name-branded one selling at the two big stores? The printing details on the box! I swear even the colour schemes are remarkably similar.

The seaweed crackers Aldi sells? Excellent!

Whoever makes their Butternut Snap bikkies does a great job.

Their dog biscuits are another matter: Pup gave them the “dewclaws down”.

Some known brands change over time (Arnotts Ginger Nut, I’m looking at YOU! You are not a patch on your 1970s self, looking all yellow and sad like you do.)

There’s a range of products available, spread over a few stores.

Select wisely and you can be happy for less.

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Not to imply anything good or bad about the Aldi product, but as I wrote a post above, that is standard Aldi strategy to ‘remind’ shoppers of major brands through similarities that stop short of infringement. If it looks close enough to the name brand it reinforces the merchandising concept.

And yes, some Aldi products are the same as a name brand (eg my cheese example) but can be sold cheaper (without damaging the name brand or commercial relationships) because of that differentiation.

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There is an excellent article on the ABC News website today regarding consumers of top name brands being sold lookalikes…


Talk about imitating a top brand name. This is a classic.

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SBS has ads but I didn’t know the ABC sold booze, tho at $117 a case for Bin 389 it’s a bargain.

I have now reworded my previous post so as to not confuse you.
However I must disappoint you as the photo of the wine bottles displays “BF 398”, not Bin 389.

If you don’t natively read roman script or know your Penfolds reds “BF 398” is very confusing - by design.