Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Discount Retail Chain Aldi Nord (privately owned) has modernized many stores in recent years to the ANIKo (Aldi Nord Instore Konzept) concept. Now the company is making adjustments to align with the German Aldi Süd instore concept and customer expectations.
The discounter Aldi Nord wants to rearrange its stores layout again, for the second time in just three years. It starts with a store in Essen, which Aldi opened this Thursday. "We want to roll out this concept in all 2,200 stores by autumn 2021," says Reinhard Giese, managing director of the Aldi Nord regional sales & distribution center in Herten, to which considerable parts of the Aldi Nord stores in the German Ruhr region belong.
The Essen-HQ-based company is thus continuing to develop its so-called Aldi Nord in-store concept, called Aniko, a five billion euro (US$ 6.05Bn) modernization program that they started in 2017 and "have now almost completely rolled out throughout all countries in which Aldi Nord is present," said Giese. At that time, they reacted to the fierce competition and converted many stores in need of renovation. Now the adaptations are not that significant but necessary to keep the change process ongoing.
"The implementation effort this time is nowhere near as high as in the Aniko project," says Giese. "The stores will close for less than a day for this further development." For example, the new concept no longer provides for transversely aligned shelves. Instead, Aldi Nord wants to set up all shelves only length ways in the future in line with Aldi Süd and competitor Lidl.
In addition, the discounter wants to differentiate more clearly between the in&out action areas with special offers and the standard assortment range. In line with the German customer shopping pattern.
Too much and too emotionally driven: in the future there will only be 1,700 different SKUs in the assortment range
Aldi had expanded its assortment range in recent years, including adding more brands to its assortment. The company now sees a limit being exceeded here. A target size of 1,700 different SKUs has been drawn also more focussing on own private label products, says Giese. Aldi is are currently above this number and need to reduce its number of SKUs to remain operational efficient and offer in all stores the same assortment.
With the new store in Essen-Schonnebeck, the story of the very first Aldi store for 107 years, which Karl Albrecht sr founded in 1913 about 200 meters away, comes to an end. Aldi recently closed the parent's store for good, but the building will of course also belong to the company in the future.
"There is a bit of sadness that we cannot continue to operate the very first Aldi store on the spot," admits Giese. But the original store had become too small with just over 500 square meters. With a good 1,260 square meters of sales area, the new store is now comparable to an average Edeka supermarket store offering more than 20,000 SKUs. The store is equipped with a modern color, light and energy concept. The obligatory photo voltaic system on the roof and an integral climate / chiller system that regulates the climate in the building will of course not be missing.