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I don't know how to go about reviewing a whole supermarket chain but I love Aldi and feel it is my duty to honour them with my prose. Trouble is that I like to amuse my self be writing things that make me laugh and I'm going to struggle big-time.
I'll start by saying that Aldi is no longer a name to cause shame and is, I think, even a trendy place to shop nowadays. We are blessed in our small town to have one and everyone who is everyone seems to go there at least every so often. This has got to be for a reason and the reason is simple - cheap and, in the main, good quality.
Aldi has grown and grown over the years, forged on these principles, and has been in the UK for 18 years now and has over 300 stores. This growth can only happen if they have a good product based on sound business principles and they are very transparent in what they are about .
It would be impossible to write about every aspect of the store so I'll focus on the bits that stand out for me.
Space --------- The final frontier. Aldi is a good place to zip around. It's an optical illusion to be honest - nothing is very high so you can see all the walls at once which make it look bigger than it is. I like it. It cut's down on the feeling of being in a series of tunnels!
Products ------------- There is not a lot of choice here so don't go if you like to look at 25 different soap powders. I like no choice - it's quicker. 'Shall I have this washing powder or bugger all on a stick' is the way I like to shop. Overall, Aldi has about a tenth
of the lines of our local Tesco if that. You will NOT get everything you need for a weekly shop but you will get most, especially for the basics.
Quality --------- Well, that's in the eye of the beholder. If you go in with the attitude that it will do the job but won't be the best and be comfortable with that then you will have a happy happy time. If not, you will walk out in disgust. I'll itemise some of the things I think they do well in a mo. I'm geeky like that.
Cost ------- If you had a trolley of stuff in Tesco's that cost £70, then you could pay as little as £55 in Aldi for the same stuff - not the same quality and the 'It'll do' mentality will have to prevail. We went on Saturday and bought most of the stuff for the week for £48 - and that's for 3 kids as well. Smoked Salmon (and plenty of it) for £1.99 anyone?
Weekly Specials ---------------------- This is where Aldi have a very good business plan and will surely one day take over the world. Twice a week, on a Thursday and Sunday, Aldi sell 'special' items. These are themed along the lines of 'DIY', 'gardening', 'kitchen items' and 'Saucy bondage gear'. These are sometimes so cheap and popular that people queue up at our Aldi one hour before opening to make sure they get some. Last week it was a water butt and accessories for £24.99. They were gone by lunchtime and they don't get any more in. It drives people to the store and I almost get excited to see what's coming next. Importantly, this stuff is of good quality for the price. It's rarely branded by a company you know but it is rarely rubbish. We've had some cracking pans and garden furniture from these deals and I love 'em. I'm a bit wary of the electrical stuff but without reason other than I like names I trust when they are representing an electric drill or other lethal weapon. They sell a lot of high-spec computer and audio-visual stuff by Tevion (no, means nothing to me either) which I have heard mixed reports about but they always sell for a good price.
Staff ------ The store can be let down by the manning levels sometimes and I doubt it is fun to work for them. They operate the 'Kwik Save' mentality of constructing 4 tills but NEVER manning more than 2 of them. It is a popular place on a Saturday lunchtime and you can have big queues, despite the fact that the staff are trained to scan about a billion items per minute. They scan and then drop the stuff straight back into the trolley for you to pack on the shelf at the front of the store where the children sit patiently. NOT! This is annoying but I suspect all part of the price-cutting mentality.
Bags ------ As are the bags which cost 3p or 9p depending on size. Boringly, every trip to Aldi ends with the 'I thought you were bringing the bags', 'No you said you were', 'Well you are a bag' conversation.
Things I really like ------------------------ By David Jones, Aged 37 and a half.
Frikkendell - Please Malu, forgive my spelling. Tasty meatball things. And you can say 'What the frikkendell are they?'. How we laugh.
Pineapple Juice - Not from concentrate and cheap!!!
Pate - lots of vaguely tasty sounding varieties that sort of taste the same but yummy.
Microwave vegetables - 2 minutes in the little container and Bobs your uncle and Fannies is a funny word.
Tapas - Yummy liitle sausages and kebabs , especially the sausages.
Frying steak - £2.00 for 4 medium sized quick fry steaks which never disappoint but remember, it ain't prime Angus. Possibly not even cow. Yummy though. 6 varieties of fruit and veg for only 69p a pack - The goodies keep changing week by week but if you stick to this selection you'll get your 5 a day for less than a fiver. A really good deal!!
Washing powder - it's probably rubbish but I'm a bloke so I'll never notice and its cheap!
Right, I';m bored now so I'll leave my list. There are a few things that aren't so good for sure. The bread is often total pants but I wont eat anything but Warburtons. If you leave a comment tell me what you think is good and what to avoid because I'm always interested to try other stuff.
Overall I think Aldi works. It doesn't try to compete with the big boys and seems to focus on giving people stuff they want at an affordable price and I think it's a real success story.
More info about Aldi such as history and, most importantly, this weeks offers can be found at http://www.aldi.co.uk/ You won't find the full price list here - just the specials.
Oh and I forgot - it has a good reputation for wines at a good price but I don't drink a lot and anyway, I'll drink any old crap. I had a bottle of white from there at the weekend and it was ok and cost £2.69. To be honest it could have been beautiful and I wouldn't know.
Really great review. And you're right, the Aldi pineapple juice IS extremely good ^^
duskmaiden 15.03.2008 01:15
Adi's all right by me
brittle1906 13.03.2008 17:33
Great review. I discovered Aldi in an unknown town when I was traveling by canal last year...can recommend their tinned rice pudding and as for the vanilla yogurt... WOW.... 15p worth of yummy dessert....and low fat!!!