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Jan 29, 2011 09:19 PM


Finally, we get an Aldi's in the Bergen/Passaic area! They really kept this opening low key, as I only found out about it through an article on I went to the store this morning, and it is great! Bargains galore, and good quality stuff!

Don't know what Aldi's is? Picture a Food Basics 25 years in the future, much much cleaner and run far more efficiently.

Most of the stuff Aldi sells is under their house brand names, but most of the items are comparable to the national brands... at a fraction of the cost! Only small disadvantages are you need to bring a quarter for a deposit for the carts and you have to bring your own bags or pay for theirs.

The store's at 64 Lakeview Avenue. Not too far out for those coming from Bergen County!

I'm planning to go back next week!

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  1. I have to smile zhelder, you sound like me when an Aldi's opened in our area of NJ. Enjoy the new location. I'm a fan of the chain myself.

    13 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      FYI-- Aldi's is the parent company that owns Trader Joes... But TJ's of course, does not want to publicize their German ownership...

      1. re: menton1

        Before you get too wound up in the TJ/Aldi connection do some research. There are so many crazy arse stories out there tangled up in the truth. Sure there's a connection but it's not as secretive or special as the stories that abound. Bottom line, if you enjoy the products and shopping experience at either/both store-good for you. Neither TJ/Aldi provides enough selection to eliminate other food stops in my week but I have my fav buys at both.

        1. re: menton1

          There are many posts and news articles breaking out the TJ's and Aldi's corporate structure. In a thumbnail (as I recall) -- at one point the companies were owned by brothers separately. I think things have changed again since then. But they have some similar practices, such as relying in large part on high-quality store-brand products.

          I was turned off the first time I walked into an Aldis, but that was because I didn't understand it. After reading about it on CH, I went back and have been a fan ever since -- good quality and low prices. So far the only items I wouldn't buy again because we didn't care for them were the hot dogs and the ice cream. But the chocolates, canned beans, pantry staples, cheeses, milk, breads....and more have been very good and very reasonably priced.

          1. re: eamcd

            There isn't much mystery, but despite the same corporate ownership the 2 brands are operated separately and are directed at a completely different customer.

            Example: instead of paying for bags at Aldi's, TJ gives you a premium quality shopping bag with handles. TJ staff is much friendlier, and the cashiers do everything from emptying your cart to packing the bags.

            Aldi's is bare bones, lines at the cashiers, barely a perfunctory "hello", and a "lets get this over with." attitude.

            TJ is in upscale areas, Aldi's is in developing areas.

            I wonder, since Aldi stores exist in Germany, how those are put together and merchandised. I feel certain that they would be a lot different than they are here...

            1. re: menton1

              Interesting perspective menton1. My own experience couldn't be more different. Aldi's is the parent org; not TJ. The new Aldi superstore opening in Piscataway blows the size & inventory of the store I frequent away and I'm wondering if the Aldi's biz model is changing further to give WalMart a run for its food dollar. TJ's across the US has a fairly equal love/hate relationship with customers. Are they different shopping experiences, yes. When I shop at the numerous grocery stores in our area do I always leave with an employee smiling, no. Farmer's market, yes-happy people. I would not call TJ's upscale. Some stores need to meet a mop! Aldi's has been around for a long time. So, I'm not sure where you're reading your material but I'm gathering my notes from employees who work there. In the meanwhile, to the OP that started this thread, I'd enjoy hearing how your experience in Clifton goes long term. One thing both stores are guilty of is running out of an item that doesn't return, week to week.

              need more than my curiosity, read the nyt.

              1. re: HillJ

                Well, you said that you feel differently than I do, yet you pointed out little or NO differences...

                I never said that TJ's was the parent co...

                What TJ does not want to publicize is the German ownership of the Co...It's not a secret, but it's never talked about either.

                I never said that TJ's was upscale, I said that the stores are in upscale neighborhoods...

                We agree that they are different shopping experiences, it's a rare customer that will shop at both stores, and that was the thrust of my post...

                1. re: menton1

                  No we really don't agree on key pts; ownership is not a secret. If you have shopped at both store brands, which locations, menton1? I've been in some not so great areas to shop in a TJ and some lovely areas to shop @ Aldi's. The shopping experience however is less meaningful to me than the items I drive to buy.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I'd agree with that up to a point. The one and only time I was ever in the Aldi's near me in South Plainfied, I was confronted with a checkout line 20 people deep. I put my things back and walked out. IMO, the shopping experience should at the very least provide for enough staff so that the customers are not indirectly paying more for their purchases in time rather than money.

                    1. re: albinoni

                      Oh I've stood on line too at both store brands. Aldi's lacks sufficient help but their conveyors are long enough for customers buying a large amt. of groceries and TJ's doesn't understand the concept of conveyor belt. You can stand 10 customers deep in TJ's and Aldi's. I wish both stores were more efficient and HIRING but that's out of my control. The Westfield store is too small, the parking lot a real issue and people flock for miles to be there. When their Shrewsbury store opens next month, don't you anticipate crowds? The economy has brought customers to Aldi's in such great numbers their projected 75 new stores may double.

                      As for our time being worth money...hell, that argument holds true up to a point throughout the shopping day. Ever trying returning a purchase at a dept store after the holiday :) or the CS line at Costco on Sat (where you pay a membership fee/not a refunded .25 for a cart). ha!

                      So it's dog eat dog everywhere in some aspect of the shopping exp. A good deal and I'm happy.

                  2. re: menton1

                    I don't understand your comment regarding "German" ownership, TJ's doesn't like to talk about ANY business practice, not just ownership.

                    1. re: michele cindy

                      The alleged speculation has made them profitable. The owners never had to say anything because the public made them legendary. Not a bad strategy. The article contains plenty of stock facts and figures. Hardly a secret society.

                2. re: menton1

                  Aldi stores in Germany in France are pretty much like Aldi in the US.

                  Only real difference is the language on the packaging.

          2. There was some talk of one in Rutherford, too - roll on the day. It completely sucks that there's no grocery store in Rutherford.

            7 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              Rutherford would be a good choice. I also think that they should build one in Fair Lawn, in the old Radburn Grand Union building, which is now vacant. It looks to be about the right size, there's a parking lot, and it's a convenient location.

              The Pathmark and Shop Rite in Fair Lawn are both horrific, and on the west side of town. The other side could really use a grocery store.

              I just wonder if Aldi's would consider Rutherford and Fair Lawn too "upscale", as they seem to prefer building in working-class towns. Still, they have a store in Rockaway, which is probably close to Rutherford and Fair Lawn in terms of affluence.

              Grand Union
              700 Broadway Ste 90, Westwood, NJ 07675

              1. re: zhelder

                Just go 5 minutes to the Rochelle Park ShopRite, run by Glass. One of the best supermarkets in NNJ, IMHO.

                1. re: zhelder

                  I believe the location was to be Rutherford bordering with East Rutherford.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Six months later, the Clifton location of Aldi still rocks. I go there almost every week to get my grocery staple bargains. (A dozen eggs was $.89 last week. Beat that!) And now they're coming to East Rutherford!

                    I'm not sure when though. Does anyone know when the East Rutherford store is scheduled to open?

                    1. re: zhelder

                      Soon, I hope. I'd love to know too!

                      1. re: zhelder

                        Ah! (again) it was the price of eggs that won me over. We've paid as low as .55 around here. This morning I paid 1.25 still a deal...and .99 for fresh mozz cheese.