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USA: Aldi turns the middle aisle into a runway as fan gear creates social media frenzy

Discount Retail Chain Aldi USA fans created a social media frenzy on Wednesday morning as the discount grocer’s devotees posted pics of ultimate satisfaction (and, in some cases, frustration) over the new, rainbow-hued, limited-edition merchandise collection of bags, bucket hats, track suits, quarter holders and more.

On Instagram, fans didn’t hold back in expressing their love of the new merchandise, and the grocer itself, with comments such as: “That bucket hat is fire” and “Do we get a discount when we rock our #AldiGear at Aldi?”

Over on Facebook, superfans admitted that if they were asked a year ago if they’d be wearing clothes from Aldi, they would’ve laughed. Fast forward to 2023 and they purchased not just one item from the merchandise collection but multiple items, professing, “I can’t wait to wear it, fanny pack and all.” On Aldi’s official Facebook homepage, over 900 comments were made regarding the new merchandise. Just hours after stores opened, several shoppers vented about items selling out too soon, while others squealed with delight over their merch-drop purchases.

Over on Twitter, one Aldi fanatic said she was unable to purchase items because they were sold out at her store, prompting her plea: “Please do a second launch.” Aldi is not a fashion icon, but it and other grocery retailers are beginning to indulge their most loyal superfans with branded merchandise, spreading brand awareness and creating walking billboards (and ad hoc social media ambassadors) in the process. Last November, Texas grocer H-E-B launched a merchandise line in honor of its 117th birthday.

“At H-E-B, we’re always looking for ways to offer our loyal customers exclusive, quality products,” Sabina Israelian-Garcia, H-E-B’s group VP of general merchandise, drug store and beauty, said in a statement at the time.

Across the pond, the competitor German discount retail chain Lidl, following the huge success of its first clothing brand campaign, drops its second clothing line on Thursday. Available only in select U.K. stores, the Lidl x Lidl collection includes swimsuits, socks, shirts, shoes and more.

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