Aldi is fast becoming the go-to supermarket for discerning Americans looking to spend less time, as well as money, on their grocery shopping. From ensuring you’re never waiting more than a few minutes to check out, to keeping their shelves constantly packed with rotating stock, the German grocery giant has a corner on the market when it comes to making consumers’ visits as seamless and low-stress as possible.
Still, just because Aldi has the efficiency down to a fine art and charges considerably less than higher-end chain stores, particularly if you opt for their own brand products, doesn’t mean they don’t have a few tricks up their sleeves, too. Just like supermarkets that stack the candy next to the checkout so unsuspecting parents risk a toddler tantrum every time they walk past, there are several ways Aldi tries to trick us into spending more than we intended to in store.
Aldi offers no coupons or loyalty discounts
First and foremost, most of the non-food items sold at Aldi might seem like great deals — but, according to the experts, they’re actually not. “Make sure you check the price on these as they tend to be higher prices on lower quality items at Aldi,” advised money-saving expert Brent Shelton to Kiplinger. He added that other stores also offer further reductions on the same items with incentive programs, so you’re not actually saving money buying them at Aldi. For example, even though paper towels were priced at the same level at Aldi, Giant, and Target, the latter stores offer coupons and loyalty discounts to their customers so their products actually wind up being cheaper.
Aldi encourages buying in bulk
Likewise, Aldi’s stock, particularly fruits and vegetables, is sold in bulk, meaning you’re likely to buy more than you need or can even use before it goes bad, as Kiplinger warns. The idea of products being cheaper instinctively makes us buy more of them, thinking we’re saving money when really it’s just the opposite. Aldi’s streamlined layout and pared back décor reaffirms this idea, too, as the emphasis is on saving money rather than looking good.
Meanwhile, as Cheat Sheet advises, Aldi places their alcohol and other expensive products at the front of the store, encouraging impulse buying. Further along the line, they place genuinely great deals next to not-so-great ones, which can confuse customers about what’s actually a bargain and encourage you to reach for an overpriced item.
Aldi creates a sense of urgency
Their “Special Buys” section ensures you always feel as though a bargain is about to be missed, too, with rotating stock and ever-changing prices increasing the urgency. Cheat Sheet notes speed is a major driving force at Aldi, particularly at the checkout, but when you’re rushing, you’re not paying attention to what’s in your shopping cart.
Their double money back guarantee, on the other hand, is clearly a smart customer service initiative — but it, too, encourages reckless spending on products we might otherwise steer clear of entirely. And by selling their own reusable tote bags, Aldi not only encourages brand loyalty but also ensures you fill up on extra purchases while feeling good about your eco-friendly choice.
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