Aldi’s evolution leads to credit cards
Aldi has succeeded because of its differences with over retailers, including its almost singular emphasis on private labels, its shopping cart rental system, and its policy of not accepting credit cards. That last item is no longer a point of difference for Aldi, which announced this week it is accepting Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express in all its U.S. stores. The company’s management has apparently concluded that the upside of greater sales from cardholders outweighs the expense of the transaction fees.
“As Aldi continues to evolve by expanding its product lines and moving into new markets, the way we do business will continue to evolve as well,” said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi, in a statement. “We care about being able to make our customers’ shopping experiences simpler and better every time they come to see us; and offering them the convenience of using their credit cards will help us do just that.”
Aldi’s decision to accept credit cards can be seen as another move by the chain to attract more upscale shoppers. The company has expanded its selection of organic foods and taken steps to remove synthetic colors, trans fats and MSG from its private brands.
In Australia, a separate division of Aldi has tested a more upscale store format with better lighting, more attractive freezer cases and displays of produce and other shelf-stable items.
Aldi’s credit card announcement precedes the chain’s big push into the Southern California market. On March 24, Aldi will open eight of 45 new stores planned for the market.
“We are unlike any other grocery store in the market right now,” Gordon Nesbit, division vice president for Aldi, who will oversee the company’s operations in Southern California, told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “We’re bringing a combination of high-quality product at exceptionally low prices. And that’s really the value proposition we’ve been offering customers throughout the United States for the last 40 years.”
- Aldi Charges Forward: Now Accepting Credit Cards at Stores Nationwide – Aldi
- Does a ‘posh’ Aldi make sense in the U.S.? – RetailWire
- Is there any stopping Aldi as it makes SoCal move? – RetailWire
- Aldi sets dates to open Southern California grocery stores – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/San Bernardino County Sun
Aldi’s Athens Georgia location
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Aldi’s decision to accept credit cards as part of an attempt by the chain to attract more middle class and upper middle class in addition to its current customers? Are you concerned that moves to go more upscale may muddy Aldi’s points of difference in the marketplace?