The announcement is clear and the buzz is evident: Aldi is coming to Albany, GA in 2022. The discount grocery store will provide more choices and likely more competition to the Albany area as the chain has a loyal following of shoppers. First time customers will immediately notice this is not your average supermarket. Here is what you need to know before shopping at Aldi.
1Bring a Quarter
Aldi keeps its costs (and prices) low by providing a unique experience to shoppers. That includes taking responsibility for your own shopping cart.
You won’t find any employees out in the parking lot corralling carts. That’s because Aldi customers are incentivized to do it themselves by leaving a quarter deposit for that shopping cart (extra Southern, read: buggy).
To do this, you put the quarter into the slot on the right side of the cart. This unlocks it from the others so you can pull it out. When you are finished shopping, simply return your cart to get your quarter back.
2Forget the coupons
Aldi may rarely issue special coupons for grand openings or regional coupons, but other than that, they don’t have them and won’t accept your manufacturer coupons. That’s because the stores are focused on keeping costs low by simplifying operations.
3You won’t recognize most of the brands
With very few exceptions, nearly all of the products sold in Aldi Stores are packaged under the Aldi brand. The names on the label may be unfamiliar, but they are made by some of the largest US food producers. Aldi says this helps them meet strict quality standards while delivering lower costs.
4You bag your own groceries
Finished your shopping trip? Head over to the cashier to pay and get your receipt — but that’s it. Your responsibility is now to bag your own groceries. Just another way Aldi keeps their costs low.
5You pay for grocery bags
If you arrive at checkout and don’t have your own bags for groceries, don’t worry. You can buy some. Aldi sells paper and reusable bags in the store for customers. Are you seeing the pattern of the business yet? We recommend bringing your own bags.
6Don’t call Aldi, they don’t have a phone
You read that correctly. Aldi stores don’t have phone numbers. So if you wanted to call ahead about something, you can’t. Staff members don’t have to answer the phone, because there isn’t one. Which also means the store doesn’t have to pay for a phone bill either. If you happen to have a burning question for someone at Aldi, be sure to ask while you are at the store.
7If wine is your thing, try an Aldi brand
Many Aldi stores sell wine. Since wine in grocery stores is no stranger to Georgia, you can likely expect to see a wine selection at the Aldi in Albany once it opens. Similar to the low cost but quality findings at places like Trader Joes (more on that in a bit), Aldi has a critically acclaimed wine selection at surprisingly low costs.
8Store hours may be shorter than you think
Coming once more from the cost saving department, Aldi is only open during peak operating hours. That means no late-night or early morning Aldi runs. Depending on the location, doors usually open at 9am and close 11 to 12 hours later.
9The Aldi customer guarantee is next level
Aldi believes in its brand and the quality of its products, and the company stands behind them in a unique way. If you find an Aldi product that has an issue or doesn’t meet the quality of a rival brand, the store will not only replace the item, but give you the original money back on it. Aldi calls this the Twice As Nice Guarantee.
10Aldi is the parent company of Trader Joe’s
Even though Aldi is based in Germany, Trader Joe’s is part of the company portfolio. If you have ever shopped at a Trader Joe’s, you will immediately notice some similar features at Aldi locations.
11The Aisle of Shame
This one is sure to be a conversation starter. Aldi’s center aisle is always changing its offerings, and it’s so popular that is has its own fan club. Lovingly nicknamed the “Aisle of Shame,” it has its own Facebook group with over a million members. In it, enthusiastic shoppers share recent finds, trips to the store, and honest reviews.
12Watch for Aldi Finds
Every now and then, Aldi will enact short-lived sales, called Aldi Finds. These deals don’t last long but offer special opportunities to buy premium food and household items.
13Aldi has a gluten-free brand
Gluten-free shoppers rejoice – Aldi has a brand just for you, including snacks and sweets, frozen foods, pantry items, and more. You can also find gluten-free recipes on the Aldi website.
14Aldi prides itself on lower costs and a speedy experience
The store model of Aldi avoids non-essential services like banking, pharmacies, and check cashing to bring more savings to customers.
A brief history of shopping at Aldi
Founded by the Albrecht family, the first Aldi store opened in 1961 in Germany, making Aldi the first discounter in the world. The company is now headquartered in Illinois with more than 2,000 stores across 36 states.
Aldi’s no-frills grocery shopping experience focuses on customers first, delivering quality food, customer service, and everyday low prices. The stores feature a quick and easy shopping experience with only four to five aisles and all the essentials.
Have you shopped at Aldi before? What was your shopping experience like? Share your story in the comments.
Featured image courtesy of Aldi.
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