Today was my big expedition to Aldi’s. It is about 14 miles up the highway, a lot of driving with gas at $3 a gallon, but my dear Sis-in-Law (best buddy) has been telling to go to Aldi’s for a couple of years. It’s in a huge mall, so right away it is a hassle for me. I hate malls! And I missed the exit and wasted gas since this mall is way out in the middle of nowhere in Lisbon, CT, and if you miss it, you are in cow country with no wi-fi and no cell service. I made it somehow and the country drive was actually pleasant. Love that cow stink.
Aldi’s is so weird to a newcomer. Everything is in shipping boxes, there is no décor at all, and the shoppers weren’t…friendly. My usual grocery store fellow shoppers seem like they smile more and shop in an organized way. Traffic goes one way and the food is logically arranged.
But at Aldi’s, the traffic goes whichever way the non-smiling patrons point their monster-sized carts. Yikes, no order in the aisles, no “excuse me’s” – just deadpan bargain buyers. The employees seem gloomy, too, and do not look at you. They are sweating to fling the food from one cart to another as fast as possible.
The prices were awesome and are the secret of their success. I found many things that were about half the price I usually pay. Haha, found is the right word, because the store is arranged as though they put the shipping boxes wherever they see space. I could not detect any scheme of organization. They don’t have many name brands or variety in what they have; okay for basics I guess. I didn’t mind packing my own groceries, and the quarter you pay for the cart is returned to you.
So why go there and will I go back? Yes, I will return (and navigate the highway again), and it’s all about the prices. I got some produce and some meat to kind of test if the food is as good as my usual store. They look okay and I got some of their own no-name diet cola. I am thinking of alternating stores so I can get certain name brands and save on the other stuff. My sister-in-law will be happy to know I finally made the Big Trek to Lisbon.
Added later, a link to an excellent article aout why Aldi's is growing so fast
Added more later: I forgot that I went to an Aldi's in Cork, Ireland last fall. I was so starry-eyed at being in Ireland that I didn't notice much or even remember I went there, but now that I think about it, it was pretty much that same as the one today. Read Suzy's comment below -- it is a European experience in essence; maybe my usual store makes me pay for the hype & friendliness with higher prices per item!