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Jan 30, 2010 02:07 PM


Today I saw Aldi's getting ready to open on NW Highway near Saturn in Garland. The area is very competitive, full of cheap/discount stores. The sign said it'll open in the spring.

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  1. I saw several going up around town. I have been a detractor of theirs due to some experiences I have had at locations in different states, but these look as if they will be nicer. However, notice the locations are in rougher neighborhoods.

    As I have mentioned before, the brands they carry are of lesser quality and generic. We shall see.

    What does a generic line really mean? In the vegetable market it isn't simply a matter of slapping a different label on a can and charging less. The B grade vegetables like a green bean would be a bit macerated and pieces of stem will be included.

    The fresh vegetable issue I had with these other locations could simply be due poor management at the store level. The meats werre very low grade, and not unlike some of the hispanic markets that have some low end products. I saw 50 cents per pound pork ribs last week that when I saw them I took a major pass on them. You get what you pay for in this mans life.

    And lastly, since these stores are in seedy neighborhoods (often) they have cart issues. two locations I went to (one in KC and one in Hutchinson, KS) they charged for carts, something like 50 cents (you can get a pound of crappy ribs for that!)

    The stores i have seen going up are 5 times larger than the ones I went to. The Kansas stores were smaller than a dollar store, and same clientele.

    God, I hate to be snarky. Just speaking the truth though.

    8 Replies
    1. re: DallasDude

      You're blowing my mind with these tales of charging for carts ...

      1. re: foiegras

        All the Aldi's I've been to have a system where you insert a quarter to unlock the cart, then get the quarter back when you return and lock it up. Thus they don't need employees to gather carts.

        1. re: gooddog

          OK, that makes more sense.

          I used to work for a company that 'merged' with a NY-based company that then floated the scheme of charging employees in Irving exhorbitant rates to park in the parking garage we'd been parking in for years!!! Huh?!?! This cart thing reminded me of that, so I'm glad it's just an incentive to clean up after yourself.

          1. re: gooddog

            All grocery stores should adopt that system (or attach a GPS). The City of Richardson tried to cite us (and our tenant) for an abandoned shopping cart on the driveway of our rental property for the violation of "storing personal properties outside of storage area"!!!

            1. re: kuidaore

              There is a hispanic grocer at Webbs Chapel and Royal that has a sign that states it is ok to run off with their carts, but to return them so they do not have to buy more. I don't get that policy. You see the damned carts littered for blocks in all directions.

            2. re: gooddog

              I really like the cart charging as well as charging for bags. This is how it is in Switzerland, and it really empowers people to be more responsible (put your cart back where it's supposed to go, instead of in a parking space, or worst yet, have it be rolling down and hitting a car in the parking lot) and promotes recycling by charging for grocery bags if you didn't bring your own. I think others should do that too!

          2. re: DallasDude

            Actually, in the case of Aldi, it IS the same thing as slapping a different label on a can of name-brand green beans. Do your homework. They don't produce their own lines, but rather their business model involves contracting with major labels to buy their product for use with their own label (for example, their corn flakes are actually Kelloggs).

            And as others have mentioned, you don't pay for the shopping cart, you get the quarter back when you put back your cart.

            Their fresh produce storage does leave something to be desired, but the majority of it moves so quickly that it just isn't an issue.

            But really, you HATE to be snarky. *rolls eyes*

            1. re: KCatty

              I am very familiar with the repackaging, however, there are various degrees of quality involved in this repackaging. For instance, any store brand has a can of green beans. It is made by one of the top sellers of green beans, but there is an A, B and a C quality from the same canner. The origin can vary depending on an annual contract, b ut the beauty of this is the fact that the label goes where ever the best price for the season lies.

              Pull a can green beans from Aldis, and one from your favorite leading brands, then pour them both into a bowl and pick through the beans. One might have smaller beans, cut irregular and contain a percentage of stems. In a C can you will also find a considered amount of mashed green beans, since that is allowed as well.

              I speak from experience, and yes, I hate being snarky. But I appreciate the comment.

          3. And, I understand you have to bag your own groceries! Not a store for me.

            7 Replies
            1. re: twinwillow

              I've also heard they don't take any type of credit or debit card, so customers have to pay with cash or a check. That is totally impractical for me!

              1. re: ChristieP

                Memories of (failed) Sack 'n Save (bag your own) and early Sam's days (cash/check only).

                Given the suffering economy, it'll be interesting to see how this not-so-new concept will play out.

                1. re: ChristieP

                  I've noticed when I go to Fiesta, I'm the only one using a debit card--everyone around me is paying cash. Just within the past few months they got the same little card scanners everyone else uses--before that I was physically signing a receipt.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    I've always used my CC at Fiesta (on Spring Valley). I've seen ppl paying $50-100 in cash there and they probably won't have a problem paying in cash. Most ppl on this board are probably not Aldi's target segment.
                    I was signing a receipt at Kroger until recently. I think Fiesta adopted the new scanner before Kroger did.

                    The store locations can be searched here. 3 in Garland, 1 in Plano, 1 in Richardson, etc. 140+ locations in DFW

                    1. re: foiegras

                      I don't think it's that unusual for Mexicans to pay with cash only. I frequent a Mexican seafood restaurant where 90% of the customers are Mexican. Sitting at the bar next to the cash register, I see nothing but cash being used to pay with.

                  2. re: twinwillow

                    You must never use self-checkout lanes in Kroger, WalMart, Tom Thumb etc. then.

                  3. I have been reading more on this Aldi phenom and it seems that not all Aldi's are created equal. So perhaps we will get the 'good' version here. This holds true to Albertsons. I have a friend in Washington that swears by Albertson's, and describes what sounds like a CM. However, our Albertson's are nothing short of slums.

                    I did yank some interesting stuff off their web site:

                    ALDI packages have multiple UPC bar codes, to read dependably from every direction. Our checker can drag an item across the scanner without taking the time to turn it over.

                    Taking checks also slows down the line and saddles us with bad check costs, so we don't mess around with them.

                    By avoiding credit cards, we avoid the extra time it takes to sign a slip and the hefty processing fee charged by credit card companies.

                    Our select brand assortment eliminates the issue of manufacturers’ coupons.

                    SO... to sum, they don't take checks or credit (checks suck anyway so that is a plus), and they do not take coupons. The coupon thing is because they only sell their brand of stuff, you won't find any national brands. Also, they do not have sacks for free or baggers. If you want bags, bring your own or they will sell 'em to ya. They also mention they have boxes littered through out the store for the taking.

                    The cart for a quarter deal might actually be a good idea.

                    1. Both Trader Joe's and Aldi's are owned by the same European business group.

                      Maybe they could jack up the Aldi's sign and slide a Trader Joe's underneath it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Scagnetti

                        I second that! I have gone to the Trader Joe's website like half a dozen times requesting a store in Dallas. One day....

                      2. Not expecting much, I visited the Aldi at on NW Hwy near Saturn late this afternoon. It was my first Aldi experience, and I was impressed. Not anything like the new WFM adjacent to Park Lane (where I had a great lunch), much less a Trader Joe's, but the prices were exceptional and the quality was good. My wife, who does the bulk of our grocery shopping, may decide differently, but I would shop at Aldi before Tom Thumb or Albertsons, expecially once the Aldi opens at Abrams and NW Hwy next month. ... Anyway, interested Chow Hounders, you might check it out and see if you form a new, refreshed opinion. Either way, I'd be interested to learn your thoughts.