ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Compagnie, oHG, doing business as About this sound Aldi (help·info) (German pronunciation: [aldiː], short for Albrecht Discount), is a global discount supermarket chain based in Germany.
The chain is made of two separate groups, Aldi Nord (North, which operates as Aldi Markt), headquartered in Essen—and ALDI Süd (South, which operates as ALDI Süd), headquartered in Mülheim an der Ruhr. The two operate independently, each within specific areas.
The individual groups were originally owned and managed by brothers Karl Albrecht and Theo Albrecht. Karl Albrecht retains ownership of Aldi Süd, and with a personal wealth of €17.2 billion, is the richest man in Germany, while the co-owners of ALDI Nord, Berthold and Theo Albrecht Jr., follow close behind at €16 billion. Dieter Schwarz, owner of Lidl and Kaufland came in third, with a fortune of €11.5 billion.
ALDI's German operations consist of Aldi Nord's 35 individual regional companies with about 2,500 stores in western, northern, and eastern Germany, and Aldi Süd's 31 regional companies with 1,600 stores in western and southern Germany.
Internationally, ALDI Nord operates in Denmark, France, the Benelux countries, the Iberian peninsula, and Poland, while ALDI Süd operates in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Switzerland, Australia, Austria, and Slovenia (ALDI Süd operates as Hofer within the latter two countries mentioned). Both ALDI Nord and Aldi Süd also operate in the United States; Aldi Nord is owner of the Trader Joe's chain while Aldi Süd operates as Aldi.
According to a 2002 survey conducted by the German market research institute Forsa, 95% of blue-collar workers, 88% of white-collar workers, 84% of public servants, and 80% of self-employed Germans shop at Aldi. One of ALDI's direct competitors, both nationally and internationally, is Lidl.
Founded: 1913 (split into Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd in 1960)
Founder(s): Karl Albrecht, Theo Albrecht
Headquarters: Essen, Germany (Aldi Nord), Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany (Aldi Süd)
Number of locations: 9,235
Area served: Global
Key people: Matthew Barnes (CEO, UK Operations)
Products: Discount store, Supermarket
Revenue: Increase €53 billion (2009)