8 Things You Might Not Know About Aldi
Aldi’s first store opened in Germany in 1961 and in 1976 the discount grocery store made its way to the United States. There are currently over 1,900 stores in 36 states, and enthusiasts say their cost-cutting measures are definitely worth the deals.
But here are things you would never guess just by patronizing the store, and if you’re curious to know more about your favorite affordable grocery store, we’ve got 8 behind-the-scenes facts below.
8. They have barcodes memorized.
Since ringing speed is so important to the powers-that-be at Aldi, many workers keep their lines moving by memorizing popular barcodes, says an employee named Sara.
“Items like milk and water have codes that we memorize.
For example, someone could be buying six gallons of milk, and instead of having the customer put all of them on the belt for us to scan one by one, we tell them to leave them in their cart and we key in the codes, making the checkout process faster.”
They’re reviewed on how quickly they check people out every day, so help them out!
7. Employees always meet their daily step goals.
Every employee in the store is expected to be able to fill every role – unloading, stocking, cleaning, or working the register – on any given day. That means, says Pennsylvania employee Jonah, that the job is more physically demanding than you might think.
“Our job is considered physically demanding, because Aldi has very few employees running per shift, meaning there are more expectations placed on each of us.
If you aren’t ringing, you are expected to be cleaning, stocking, re-stocking, or organizing the shelves. There is no ‘down time.'”
It’s a perk, honestly, if you’re someone who thinks time passes more quickly if you’re busy – and it’s good for everyone tracking steps on their fitness devices, too.
Kyle, who works at a store in Virginia, says he walks more than 25,000 steps during a single shift.
6. You can’t call them.
There is a phone at the store but the numbers aren’t listed in an attempt to let employees deal with the customers who are in the store, explains Kyle.
“We do technically have a store phone, but this phone is strictly used for receiving calls from the warehouse, global help desk, and to our security company we use.”
5. There’s a reason they sit at their registers.
Jonah says that the main reason for giving employees a seat while they ring up customers isn’t necessarily for a rest.
“While resting is true, Aldi says that cashiers sit at the registers because, according to their testing, it allows us to ring up items faster.”
You knew there was a business decision behind it, right?
4. Their return policy is very generous.
Aldi’s “Twice as Nice Guarantee” means that customers can return a product and get not only a replacement but a refund for their time and trouble, as well.
Employees think it’s a great idea, but Kyle says people do abuse it, and admits that sometimes people who are “serial returners” are flagged and asked to ease up.
3. They’re monitored for their ringing speed at checkout.
Aldi sets high-performance standards for employees at checkout, expecting them to process as many as 1200 items per hour, according to Jonah.
“We are given reports at the end of each day for our ringing statistics.
Ringing is the only part where we get an actual report, but managers will tell us that we are expected to knock out two pallets per hour, or one pallet every half hour.”
No lazy loafers there!
2. Employees are required to wear steel-toed boots.
You normally see steel-toed boots at places like construction sites or warehouses, because of the elevated risk of dropping something heavy on a toe. Aldi believes they can keep their employees safe (and avoid workman’s comp claims, I’m sure) by requiring the same, says Kyle.
“All associates are required to wear steel-toed boots because of the equipment we use on the job.
We use pallet jacks and it is just a safety precaution.”
The store does reimburse workers for the expensive footwear.
1. They’re actually training you.
Employees are keen on getting customers through the register and toward the bagging area as quickly as possible, and they have a process for “training” people to move along at a good clip, too, says Jonah.
“Aldi is all about efficiency, and encouraging our customers to ‘pre-insert’ their card while we are ringing allows the payment process to be near instant, rather than having our customers wait for us to finish ringing and then pull out their card and insert it.”