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FAQ

Why is Aldi able to compete successfully against Walmart’s low prices, given that it’s Walmart's strength?
Because it’s not just about low prices, but also about ALDI being able to keep their cost to a minimum.11 Reasons why they are so successful:Selected Products - they only carry selected products - that just work well - constantly reviewing if they still make sense carrying.ALDI owned Labels - most of their products are their own labels.Trend Spotters - quick to spot a trend i.e. organic and natural food and go with it.Competition Watchers to the TProductive and efficient - they employ only a certain amount of staff per store, per shift.ALDI is very very VERY productive and efficient.Non Union workers and only a few Manager Levels - ALDI workers do not belong to a Union, therefore cashiers and managers do nearly everything in the store - from ringing up products, stocking up, cleaning up, etc. They don’t have all sorts of managers. Only a Shift manager, Store Manager, and then 3 more levels within the USRegional vs National changes: Changes can be done per region, does not need to be national. This allows for greater flexibility and quick reaction to competitionNot much red tape: Procedures are reviewed constantly and changes are made when deemed necessaryThey don’t just give away their bags - these few cent bags are actually quite a good money maker and are not another expenditure like they are for WalmartSmall Stores make for smaller Inventory Loss, theft, people wanting to go there to grab something instead of spending hours in a mega store trying to find one item.Competitive Wages/Salary: It’s freaking hard work, but it pays off. From Cashiers to Managers - everyone is compensated very well.There are probably many more reasons - my point is ALDI does know what they are doing and they are able to quickly adapt to whatever comes their way.
What is the scariest thing that happened on a night shift?
Because I specialize in post-production work I often work much later than my co-workers and it’s not unusual at all for me to be the only person in our entire office late at night or even overnight.One night, well past midnight, I was dealing with a difficult technical issue and getting frustrated as I was tired and wanted to go home. After slamming my hands on my computer keyboard in frustration, I went to get a glass of water and take a break before I broke anything.As I left my office, I heard someone whispering *directly* behind my back.Our office at the time was a big open concept loft - I had the only fully closed off office and the other “offices” only had partial glass walls - the rest of the floor was just a big bullpen of IKEA desks with just legs and tabletops. It took, at most, 20 seconds to survey the entire floor end-to-end and confirm that there was no *possible* space anyone could be hiding. I just chalked it up to a mistake, got my water, and went back to work.Shortly after I sat back down at my desk I heard the whispering again. It was coming from *right* outside my door. The words were so indistinct I couldn’t quite make them out, but this time I got a clear impression it was English and a young, female, voice. The instant I turned trying to see who was there the voice immediately stopped. It was completely unnerving. Spooked, I turned on every light I could find. I looked over everyone’s desk to see if any computers were still on or any phones were off the hook. I even went down to the only other floor of the building to see if the downstairs tenant (who was almost never in the building) had decided to show up at 2am. Of course there was no one there - and I could see from the security panel at the door that their heavy-duty alarm system was on, including the motion detectors. The front doors were locked tight, the fire escape, stairwell and bathrooms secured and empty. I was, demonstrably, the only person in the entire building.Convinced, I went back to my office and opened my notes to refresh myself on the technical problem I was supposed to be solving. After a few moments of writing I suddenly heard the voice again - but this time saying clear as day: “he’s using Microsoft Office” - the program I had just switched to?I turned the office upside down trying to find out what was going on. I searched filing cabinets and desks for hidden speakers, looked for concealed cameras, checked the street in front of the building (and the roof of the building opposite). All to no avail. I was starting to think I was losing my mind.Finally after I combed every inch of the main office for a third time I conceded that, given my fully enclosed (no-window) office, and every check I had just done - there *was no possible way* anyone could be seeing what I was doing on my computer screen. This was clearly just a figment of my tired brain running wild.I walked back to my desk and sat down and the voice immediately whispered: “now he’s using Firefox browser” (which, again, was true).Thankfully - instead of running in gibbering madness into the night - a light-bulb suddenly went off in my brain as to what was going on - and it turned out I was correct:When I had slammed my hands on my computer in frustration earlier - three things had happened that I didn’t realize or intend:My earbuds, which were still plugged into the headphone jack of my computer, slipped behind my desk.I turned the volume up to it’s maximum level.I accidentally hit the key combination to turn on the “voice assist” built into my computer to dictate to those with vision loss.So.. whenever I was actively typing, or clicking on things, the computer was helpfully dictating everything I was doing in it’s female computerized voice. Because the earbuds are such small speakers (and were dangling behind my desk, slowly rotating around) most of it was inaudible except for the odd word or phrase that, after reflecting off the bottom of my desk and the floor, sounded exactly like it was coming from just outside my office door. Aside from the actual names of the programs - my brain was just filling in the rest of the indistinct narration. And of course, the moment I *stopped* using the computer (as I would do the instant I thought I heard something) the dictation would stop‡ until the next time I sat down and started typing again.I don’t think I actually ever did solve the problem I was supposed to be dealing with that night - but I figure solving one huge, impossible, mystery a night is probably good enough.
Do most companies in America pay for their employees‡ lunch break?
No.The vast majority of companies do not pay for employee lunch breaks (usually 30–60 minutes). Non-exempt (“hourly”) employees almost never get paid for their meal period. There are structural rules about how employee meal periods are to be provided. If an employer provides a break of 20 minutes or less, they must (by law) pay for that break but they need not prthem. (Most do.)U.S. Department of Labor rules about work hours & breaksThere is the expectation of reasonable accommodation for employees who request unpaid breaks in their shifts and there are tight rules governing the break periods for minors. Adults working 7.5 or more hours in a day are generally provided a minimum of 30 minute (usually 60) meal periods. There are exceptions —of course‡ based on the critical nature of the job performed.Lastly, and not to be forgotten, are salaried (“exempt”) employees. They are paid for a niche skill or critical leadership. Because of that, their pay is calculated by the year (say, $75,000) and then broken up into 24 (“twice monthly”: $3,125 before taxes) or 26 (“every other week”: $2,885 before taxes) pay periods†. They are always “on the clock” and thus, they’re paid no matter how many hours they work or how long their breaks are. There are tight rules about the amount of non-relevant physical labor they can be expected to perform (i.e., you can’t hire a manager and ask them to stock shelves all day without paying overtime, etc.[1] ), otherwise their pay doesn’t change based on breaks or labors performed.†In the US, employees are not [usually] paid monthly. Most states ban this as a matter of regulation. Pay is rarely every week, more frequently every other week or twice a month (i.e. - the 15th and last day of the month).Footnotes[1] Aldi Owes Store Managers Unpaid Overtime Wages, Collective Action Claims
Why is Aldi meat so cheap?
The reason Aldi meat is so inexpensive are the same reasons all their prices are so low.They sell products with their own brand name. The quality and taste is the same as name brand, but with their extensive move to more natural ingredients, they are better for you.They only sell a limited number of items. It covers most anything you need, but not always everything you want.People multitask. The stock people also do check out, and there is no special meat manager, or produce manager, or baker, or any other than the store manager.They cut costs, from depositing a quarter for the shopping cart, almost guarenteeing the cart is returned to the rack and no need for someone to go out to get them every hour, or law suits because a loose cart dinged a car, to putting items on shelves in boxes to cut steps and costs, to bring your own bag.Back to the multitasking, each store only has a certain number of employees per shift, and you are as likely to see a manager stock shelves as anyone else.They use local sources for many of the fresh products, thereby lowering costs.Being on SS disability, I am thankful for places like Aldi to maximize my food budget.
Why do ALDI checkout staff always scan items at top speed with no regard for your ability to match their pace loading items into your bag or cart?
I’m a current employee of my local ALDI in America and have been there for two months. Knowing that, let me tell you this: ALDI would give big-brother a run for their money.I work part-time on weekends and so as a result, I am almost always the primary or backup cashier because so much foot traffic is going on in the store and let me tell you; everything you do at the register is timed. They want “efficiency” and if you do not meet the standards, you will be held accountable for it.For example, ALDI wants at the most only two seconds between transactions. When I say between transactions, I mean the time when you end one transaction and begin another. They’ll let you get away with three seconds at the store I work for but if you hit four seconds, you are failing the standards.Every item has multiple bar codes on it so you can ring it up from almost any angle, but this also means stuff can get scanned by accident very easily. Yet they do not want any void items on the ticket. Ten voids is not acceptable in a normal day of work (eight hours, expected foot traffic on the weekend) they want to them to be around zero to three.And lastly, the ringing speed. For a minimum standard the company demands that the cashier be able to ring 1,200 items per hour. If you can be faster, they’ll push you for it. For my part, being that I’m a part-timer, I’ve managed to ring only 1,000 items per hour. My boss tells me that I’m too slow and “will have to be held accountable for my efficiency” as per the rules of ALDI.So if it seems like the employees are rushing, trust me, they are. But it’s literally not their fault. It’s ALDI that has the crazy expectations that they are required to meet for fear of losing their job. You wonder why they pay so well? Because the physical demands of the job are insane. If you’re not ringing things up at the 1.2k speed, you’re on the floor, pulling items, stocking shelves or crushing boxes into bales. Injury risk is high as well, hence the benefits offered. So please, speaking as a customer service worker for this business, try not to be upset at the employees for the standards the higher up sets. It’s not their fault that they have to act like that, it’s ALDI’S.
What is it like to work in ALDI?
Current employee, been there for two months and in a word, it’s very hectic and stressful.I admit, I do like how the fast-pace keeps you from being bored (I’m certainly never staring at the clock and looking for work during a shift) and that’s nice. However, the incredibly high standards and the constant pressure from upper management make the job very hard.One big thing that I’ve noticed in my primary duty as being a cashier is the ring speed. At my store (a US location) at the least, they want you to ring 1,200 items per hour. They want drawers to be either perfect or being under/over no more than ten dollars. Voids must be three or less, time between customers has to be three seconds at the very most. Being a part-timer who works about two days every week; I’m only ringing 31 items per minute and about a 1,000 items each hour. Not bad considering I’ve only worked 18 days since I started right? Wrong. At least according to Aldi’s.While my manager has noted my improvements and how I’ve taken on his suggestions to improve my speed, I have been told it’s still not enough and that I must keep pushing myself. Never mind that the store only has three people to close it at night and that I consistently clean the entire front end by myself. Never mind that my wrists hurt at the end of every shift because of how fast I’m going or how I’ve already hurt myself twice trying to ring heavy objects as fast as the company demands. (And this is only for ringing, it’s even worse with the load. This is the reason the benefits are so good, because the injury risk is that high.)This culture where the lower level employees are pushed like this is what makes the job so hard. No matter how hard you’re working, how much you’re improving or how well you’re keeping your head when you’ve served almost three hundred customers on one lane in one day it’s never enough. Aldi’s can never say “you did well today” it’s always “okay this was better but you have to do more or you will have to be held accountable for your efficiency”. Read: even though you’re improving drastically in such a short period of time, you have to do even more or we’re going to fire you.Customers are hustled out like cattle, you don’t have time to talk with them or make them smile. You’re throwing food into their carts willy-nilly, trying to make the time because you know you’ll be in trouble if you don’t. Problem with that is though, you run the risk of damaging product when you do that. This makes customer service take a huge hit, but at Aldi’s you can’t have excellent customer service and the speed they want and have little to no mistakes occur. You as an associate have to pick and usually, you’ll pick the speed because that’s what they’ll crack down on.So all in all, what’s it like working at Aldi’s? It’s a job that’s not at all what it looks like. All the customers see is a person ringing them up while sitting down but behind the scenes? It’s a very intense job with very high (and I would say unreasonable) expectations on all low-level employees.
Why in the US people compare their pay per year and not per month?
A lot of this is social convention that may not have a single identifiable source, some of it will be hourly employee union contracts, some of it will be state laws. At any rate, MOST of the world outside a few areas like North America or Western Europe experienced very high inflation.My director is a Brazilian woman. We are both employment rules/laws/customs nerds. We just went to In-N-Out and talked like two hours about what it was like to be an HR director for Latin America (and all the crazy customs across that wide area). One of the things she mentions that is VERY common in Africa and Latin America is that inflation had historically been so high that nobody quite gave a shit about what the annual salary was because none of the future numbers would make sense or be relevant, so everybody wanted to know what their monthly pay was and the increase calculator for each week of that month. (Other countries have other pressures and do their thing for so many reasons that it becomes challenging to identify —outside of laws or major union rules‡ how employment behaviors came about.)Most pay in the US is calculated two ways:Non-Exempt Employees ‡ For laborers (and non-leadership specialists), they generally are paid by the hour. That doesn’t mean they’re handed an envelope of money every hour (and yes, I’ve had to answer that specific question as a recruiter literally hundreds of times ‡ with the “envelope of money” specifically coming up more times than I care to count). We simply calculate your pay by hour because you are paid by the hour if you’re a laborer. Typically, in the US, paychecks come every other Thursday or Friday (by which I mean: your money is deposited in your bank account; most companies don’t print checks any longer and if you do not have a bank account, they’ll open one for you, send you a debit card and then deposit your money in there). A couple of organizations still pay weekly but they’re fading. This is because, in the US, there are a set of labor laws that protect those non-leadership roles in which a laborer must physically perform a task. (Farm workers, assembly line workers, custodial, construction, mining, livery, loaders, drivers, service staff.) They are protected by very tight constraints on what they can be asked to perform and for how many hours per week. Anything in excess of 40 hours falls into 1.5 times their base wage territory and not a lot of companies offer that[1].Exempt Employees ‡ For leadership roles or highly skilled trades that have a disproportionate effect on the organization (the power to activate or shut down critical systems like enterprise infrastructure, power grids, etc.), physicians, accountants or lawyers, they are exempt from most labor laws but protected by guidelines on how they are paid and what kind of tasks they can be asked to do. They are paid based on the year and that amount is broken up into the pay periods with no possibility of overtime (OT).As recompense for sacrificing OT, they cannot be asked to perform “menial” tasks or those performed by hourly workers within their organization more than a very slim minority of their shift. So (lookin‡ at you ALDI USA[2] ‡ who lost a massive lawsuit), you cannot hire ALL managers of your store and make them stock shelves all day. Salaried managers cannot be required to ring register or stock shelves more than a short period of time otherwise they can sue for overtime and a wage to reflect that work. When I was a manager at Kohl’s, we were embroiled in a lawsuit in which a local district manager lost the company millions of dollars by badgering managers to perform labor intensive tasks.Of course, American laws are more complex than that and we haven’t even delved into state laws which add a whole additional layer of complexity to the structure of W2 (full time) employees.Footnotes[1] Wage and Hour Division (WHD)[2] Aldi Owes Store Managers Unpaid Overtime Wages, Collective Action Claims
Do employees get a discount on groceries at Aldi?
According to their Employment site, there is no mention of discount food items, and that is not surprising since Aldi is like a lot of supermarket chains. They operate under a tight profit margin, and any discounted prices affect their bottom line. Its called “Shrinkage”, which basically means loss of inventory value due to shoplifting, damage, returns, spoilage, dating, and including discounting..Skip NavigationSearch JobsMenuStore Management &Staff.The most valuable thing you earn at ALDI is opportunity.Store teams are the ALDI strategy in action. Every store is led by a dynamic, responsive and dedicated team leader who personifies the core values of ALDI. Within our cooperative atmospheres, store employees are certain to learn together and from each other as they collaborate to complete day-to-day responsibilities ‡ because you’ll never have the same day twice.See all Store Management & Staff JobsRoles in our Stores.At ALDI, our organization is simple. Our flat hierarchy allows leaders to know their people, stay informed, and promote an open flow of ideas and suggestions to empower more effective decision making. As a result, we’re able to recognize talent and top performance early and often.Part-Time StockerPart-Time CashierStore AssociateShift ManagerManager TraineeStore ManagerBenefits at ALDI.All full-time employees will receive the following:Industry-leading wagesComprehensive Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance & Prescription CoverageGenerous vacation time & paid holidays401(k) plan with employer matching contributionShort- and Long-Term Disability InsuranceLife, Accidental Death & Dismemberment and Dependent Life InsuranceExplosive growthCompetitive salariesPaid trainingFull benefitsManager Trainee:Store Manager Trainees begin their ALDI experience with an extensive training program and learn what it takes to manage an entire store. You’ll work closely with our Store Managers and District Managers to efficiently and effectively conduct store operations while learning how to lead, coach and develop Store Associates.It’s a challenging career in a fast-paced environment. But that’s why it’s immensely rewarding.Store Staff:Our Store Staff is the face of the ALDI shopping experience and our most valuable asset. Their hard work makes it possible to uphold our company philosophy to prthe highest quality products at the lowest possible prices. Their smiles and pleasant demeanors keep customers coming back time and time again.As part of our Store Staff, you'll be front and center performing a variety of duties while delivering outstanding customer service. Store Staff positions include: part-time Stockers, part-time Cashiers and full-time and part-time Store Associates. Our staff is responsible for assisting Store Management by merchandising product, monitoring inventory and keeping the store looking its best. It's a great opportunity to get more out of your career and grow in an exciting environment.Store LocationsOur People.Meet your future teammates?Learn MoreFacebookLink opens in a new windowGlassdoorLink opens in a new windowLinkedInLink opens in a new windowALDI.usALDI InternationalExplore Other OpportunitiesPrivacy PolicyLegalSitemapAccessibility
Why don't more grocery store chains follow the Aldi business plan?
The genius of the Aldi and Lidl business model, and why it will probably gain market share in the US grocery market overtime, is that it is very hard for other grocers like Kroger, Publix, etc. to compete with them.Doing so would require a complete overhaul of these traditional grocers‡ business models, which practically speaking is not likely.Aldi and Lidl operate with a competitive advantage on costs.They accomplish this by running lean inventories, having lower SKU counts, needing less staff, passing-through costs to the consumer (like for the shopping bags or at Aldi to use carts), having lower wastage (i.e. from higher product turns and less complicated assortments), selling more private label vs. branded items, etc.This is the same strategic advantage that Walmart and Costco have used to their advantage for decades.A competitive cost advantage allows for “everyday low pricing”, which attracts more customers and volume. This higher throughput allows for better leverage of costs, which allows for better pricing, which drives more throughput. And on and on the advantage continues.For a traditional grocer to adopt this model, they would have to dramatically change their store sizes, SKU assortments, use of private label vs. branded, and whole approach to doing business. Such a shift in strategy would dramatically disrupt their current business models, which managers of these businesses have no incentive to do, especially given how short-term focused investors have become.