For countless customers, a week isn’t complete without at least one trip to Aldi, whether they need to pick up something quick for dinner or to do the bulk of their week’s food shopping without spending their entire paycheck. The Germany-based supermarket chain opened their first US store in 1976, and has been growing ever since. Now, shoppers in 36 states can enjoy Aldi’s quality goods and rock-bottom prices in any of their 2,000 stores (per their website).
Aldi shoppers are committed to their favorite store, and it’s easy to see why: The chain’s smaller square footage and no-frills displays mean lower rent and overhead for the owners, which translates into reduced prices on merchandise (via Kiplinger). And while the selection of goods may not be as wide as your average Wegman’s or Stop and Shop, you can still find all the basics, plus gluten-free and organic products — and even unexpected nonfood items such as outdoor furniture and cookware (per Clark).
Aldi’s commitment to sustainability and animal welfare are admirable, too. Okay, so you have to shell out a quarter to rent a shopping cart, and you have to get used to bringing your own bags, but these are small inconveniences compared to the joy of getting your money’s worth.
Of course, this experience wouldn’t be possible without the 25,000 employees who have become essential front-line workers in the midst of the pandemic. The least we can all do for them is to make their jobs a little less stressful. Here’s how.
A little less chatting goes a long way
One of the things Aldi prides itself on is its efficiency: When you’re in the checkout line, you know you won’t have to wait long, and carrying your own bags makes it easier to get your groceries packed up and ready to go (plus, it’s environmentally friendly). But what you might not know is that Aldi’s employees are under pressure to get customers out the door as quickly as possible. As reported by the Daily Mail, current and former workers have revealed that cashiers are expected to ring up somewhere between 1,000-1,300 items every hour and face a reprimand if they can’t keep up the pace. With that in mind, don’t get into a long chat with the clerk. They’ll understand that you’re not trying to be rude, and short encounters also help reduce the chance of spreading coronavirus. To further minimize distractions, stay off your phone during checkout.
Another request from Aldi’s workers, via Taste of Home: Don’t take carts that don’t belong to you. That includes the cart at the end of the checkout conveyor belt, which the cashiers use to hold your scanned items until you bag them at the end of the sale. If you think you’ll be buying more than a couple of items, spend the 25 cents and get your own wagon. (You’ll get the quarter back when you return the cart to the corral.)
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