Saturday, September 27, 2008

Best Practice Profile - Aldi

bananas and creamImage by .leila via Flickr

A growing international retail company that offers good pay, a company car, and a really unique opportunity to experience working in another country.
ALDI, short for “Albrecht Discount” is a discount supermarket based in Germany.

ALDI, whose parent company is based in Muelheim, Germany, operates more than 8,500 stores worldwide with estimated revenues of $57.5 billion, averaging about one new store opening a week.

The first ALDI store opened in the United States in Iowa in 1976. Today, there are over 900 ALDI stores in 28 states from the East Coast, the Mid-West, the Mid-Atlantic, and most recently, Florida, where they will open an initial 25 stores in central Florida. ALDI has announced plans for up to 100 stores in Florida eventually.

The chain is made up of two separate groups, ALDI Nord and ALDI Süd, which operate independently from each other in specific market boundaries. The individual groups were originally owned and managed by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht; both have since retired.

ALDI Nord CEO Theo Albrecht also created a family trust that owns the Trader Joe's chain of specialty grocery stores in the United States, which is separate from both ALDI corporations.

The ALDI motto is “Incredible Value Every Day.” ALDI claims to offer customer savings of 50 – 90 percent on the price of their everyday purchases, including about 1,000 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items.

ALDI is known for paying higher than the average market wages where they do business. However, they are also known for achieving very high productivity per labor hour. Everyone is the store is expected to stock, cashier, and clean, including store management. Warehouse Selectors work 25-35 hours per week.

Stores are lightly staffed, with one full-time manager and five to seven part-time employees.

We’ve revolutionized the grocery industry with our unique business model – a model that enables us to provide the highest quality products at the lowest prices. The value we offer our customers stems from the numerous efficiencies and innovations we’ve instituted at every level of our operation. Today, millions of shoppers around the world are enjoying a smarter way to shop.

ALDI hires for various positions in the United States via their Career web site. Here is some content from the site on the corporate vision.

The Store

The premise is simple. Give the customer virtually everything they use the most – in a smaller, more manageable environment. And it’s an environment that’s designed with an eye toward the future, using high-quality materials that will stand the test of time, increasing operational cost savings and efficiency.

The Products

At the core of our operations are the products themselves. An incredible ninety-five percent are select brand products – each one produced to meet or exceed the quality of national brand names. All of these select brand products are backed by our signature Double Quality Guarantee. If customers are not satisfied with the product, it’s replaced AND their money is refunded.

The Pricing

Our broad selection of high-quality, select brand product offerings means consumers pay for the product itself, not national brand advertising, couponing, and branding. This allows us to price our groceries at nearly forty percent less than the competitors.
The Distribution Every day, millions of dollars in product pass through a single ALDI warehouse. This distribution channel is where our efficiencies truly shine, taking full advantage of being both the distributor and retailer of our product range.

Benefits and Pay

It’s executive-level responsibilities, millions to manage, and real control over your own district. You’ll have the chance to make a true impact, as well as advance further than you ever thought possible. And we’re providing the kinds of benefits that are on par with your responsibilities.

  • $70K starting salary

  • Company car

  • Generous vacation time

  • 401(k)

  • Retirement savings plan

  • Medical, vision & dental insurance

  • Life & disability insurance

  • Salary Breakdown:
    1st year – $70,000
    2nd year – $75,000
    3rd year – $80,000
    4th year – $85,000

More compensation. More training. More personal and professional rewards. Welcome to getting more out of your career.

The top best practice I could identify from the ALDI career site is the very unusual opportunity to get an international career opportunity in a retail chain. From the career site

Interested in international opportunities?

Once you're an established District Manager, ALDI’s International Expatriate program offers you the chance to experience our business in an entirely different culture. You’ll work for two years in one of our many incredible locations worldwide. And you’ll gain the perspective and insight necessary to take your career even further within our organization.

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