111 years of ALDI: from baked goods to discount pioneer

12-Apr-2024
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111 years ago, a success story began that continues to this day: in 1913, Karl Albrecht senior in Essen-Schonnebeck decided to go into retail. In doing so, he laid the foundation for a unique business principle that ALDI still successfully lives by today - the discount store.

The success story began on April 10, 1913, when Karl Albrecht senior started trading in baked goods in Essen-Schonnebeck. Anna Albrecht transformed the bakery business into a grocery store in the years following the First World War. In 1919, the Albrechts expanded the product range and moved to Huestraße 89 in Essen. This was to be the nucleus for the customer-oriented business principle with which the sons Karl and Theo would later write German retail history. After the Second World War, sons Karl and Theo finally took over the family business and quickly expanded beyond the city limits of Essen. From 1954, they established the first self-service concepts. From then on, customers could go to the shelves themselves and put together their purchases.

Albrecht stores become ALDI

In 1961, the brothers decided to divide the existing store network between them: Karl concentrated on the southern part of Germany, Theo on the northern part. Despite the split, the two independent companies continued to work closely together to this day. From 1962 onwards, the brothers ran their discount stores under the name that is now world-famous: ALDI, short for Albrecht Diskont. In 1973, ALDI North expanded outside Germany into the Netherlands for the first time. Further foreign markets followed with Denmark, Belgium, France and Luxembourg. From 1990, people in East Germany can also shop at ALDI. Since the 2000s, the ALDI North Group has added organic and vegan products to its range and expanded into Spain, Portugal and Poland. The first major modernization program in the company's history began in 2017 with the standardization of all stores in Europe.

Today, with more than 91,000 employees in 5,300 stores and eight European countries, the ALDI North Group provides customers with what they need for their daily lives - even 111 years after it was founded.

"The history of ALDI in Germany goes back 111 years, but the values of our founders - simple, reliable and responsible - still apply," says Felix Rottmann, ALDI North Germany CEO. "They left out what was not absolutely necessary and recognized that the key to success lies in focusing on the essentials: our customers. We will continue to be guided by these values in the future."

You can find all the milestones in our eventful history on our anniversary page. There you will also find image and video material from the past decades and we examine ALDI myths for their truthfulness

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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