ALDI Store Tour :: theCityMoms event recap

//ALDI Store Tour :: theCityMoms event recap

Every once in a while, a little something extra pops across into laps that make us really smile. And at the end of 2018, it was a chance to partner with the historically private ALDI grocery store brands for a remarkable CityMoms event:

A private ALDI store tour at their newest location in Nora.

ALDI store tour - theCityMoms

Now first: A little confession. This writer happens to have a history with ALDI, and I don’t mean as an avid shopper. In my previous life, I worked Mad Men-style hours for an advertising agency based in Michigan and one of my Clients was the revered ALDI grocery stores. It was an interesting experience catering to German-based Clients thru 3am phone calls and 11pm emails from their US counterparts. Thankfully I had a newborn at home who didn’t like sleeping so it worked well for my early-morning response time to Client needs.

All this to say, when our CityMoms members started asking about a store tour with ALDI, I knew who to call. This is an important distinction because ALDI is historically quite private and – as we learned during this tour – runs very lean on staffing all in the name of efficiency. So this experience was not something typically offered to the general public. And after many, many phone calls, we found Jake, District Manager of our local Indianapolis market ALDI stores.

ALDI store tour - theCityMoms

It took a lot of planning, maneuvering and approving through the higher-ups at ALDI but finally we had a date set and a huge group of CityMoms excited to learn more about ALDI Shopping 101.

This is where I tag in CityMom Katie for some help – due to a family emergency I was unable to attend on the day-of, but Katie went, loved, and dished:

Our store tour went like this:

The whole atmosphere of the tour was really fun – a lot of the moms were already ALDI fans and were really excited to be getting a tour {me included!}, and the moms who were new to ALDI shopping were excited to see what all the buzz is about. Many of us shop here since it’s so budget-friendly, but there were many new nuances we learned to make it even more interesting.

It also felt special knowing that they don’t generally do tours, and it was funny being such a {relatively} large group touring a grocery store during normal shopping hours. All that resulted in a lot of giggling and “ooh-ing and ahh-ing.” Several shoppers came up to us to ask what we were doing and how they could get a tour!

Here’s some ALDI Shopping 101 tips we learned quickly:

  • Shopping carts are available, but you have to rent them. {Great idea for ensuring they get returned to the store!} The cost is only twenty-five cents so come equipped with your quarter – you’ll get it back when the cart is returned to the racks.
  • What you see is what you get. You’ll hear more below but essentially everything available for purchase is out on the floor. No running to the back stock room to check for extras.
  • Stores have only a few people on staff. As part of the simple approach ALDI is known for, store employees handle many tasks: Cashier, stocking, cleaning, management needs and more. You won’t find them divided by section and certainly won’t find anyone sitting around. To keep costs low, ALDI only employs as little staff as needed to operate the store.
  • Bring your bags. Just like Costco, you’ll need to have your own bags at the ready – there are no paper or plastic options here. But there are reusable for purchase in case you forget your own.
  • Who’s loading up your cart and bagging your groceries? That’s you again. Be prepared to lend a little elbow grease during your trip.
ALDI store tour - theCityMoms
“{District Manager and ALDI tour guide} Jake made the tour really informative.  He shared a lot of specific information on the how and why of ALDI does things the way they do to keep the prices low and provide a certain type of shopping experience.  He also did a great job of asking us questions to see what our guesses were for how they do various things. Moms also asked a lot of questions, which added even more substance to what we were learning. ” 
ALDI store tour - theCityMoms
ALDI store tour - theCityMoms
“He also shared some great info explaining that a lot of the products ALDI carries are literally the exact same thing you would buy at another grocery store, just with different packaging and a lower price {I *think* I recall him saying the milk is often Dean’s brand, rolls up to the store in a Dean’s truck, and is essentially just coming with an ALDI label).  He also explained that most meats in US grocery stores come from one of only a few sources or factories, so what you buy almost anywhere is really comparable.” 
ALDI store tour - theCityMoms

Jake also explained why most ALDI stores are fairly small in size: All for efficiency. “That is something that I personally LOVE – that I can zip in and out of there with a cart full of groceries in half an hour or less!” says Katie. “Walk into somewhere like Walmart and it’s like a walk through a football field-sized hell and you know an hour or more of your life is gone.” 


WE ALSO LOVED THIS EXPERIENCE TOGETHER: DryBar Indianapolis, a moms night out event recap


And speaking of that, our CityMoms asked why the cashiers are so incredibly fast and efficient {“…compared to somewhere like Walmart – sweet crimony I can hardly keep from screaming watching them scan the items in slow motion,” cringes Katie.).  He said they keep constant data on the number of scans per minute and possibly also dollar sales per minute for each cashier that is on the clock. This keeps everyone on task during their shift.

Jake pauses to discuss something in the wine section. We’d tell you what it was but we are momentarily blinded by the beauty of this gorgeous spot. Case in point:
Hello gorgeous. And at ALDI prices? We may never leave.
ALDI store tour - theCityMoms
Okay Katie, what is this photo of? “Call me a nerd, but I was really pumped that we got to see the back storage room! It was WAY smaller than you would expect, and that’s because they completely stock the entire store every single morning {one of the things made possible by the fact that they don’t take the items out of the boxes, so they can stock quickly}.  Jake noted it takes 2-ish hours to stock the entire store every morning. So there were only a handful of things stacked in the storage room. They also had a separate refrigerated and freezer rooms for cold items of course.” 

As the tour came to a close, Jake gifted our CityMoms with their own reusable ALDI tote and posed with us for that photo at the top of the post. We can safely say each mom walked away with a new understanding of ALDI and some great tips and hints for future shopping trips. A simpler approach to shopping? Well we simply loved it.

{This store tour is just one of many fun events our theCityMoms plans for our member mommas. Want to learn more and join the fun? Read up on theCityMoms here.}

Special thanks to Indianapolis District Manager Jake Greig for hosting theCityMoms on this wonderful evening!

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Jeanine Bobenmoyer headshot - theCityMoms

Jeanine Bobenmoyer – like many moms – wears numerous hats including wife, mother of 2, trail runner, yoga-addict, Michigan native, die-hard Wolverines fan, Thai food enthusiast and avid reader. After years spent in the world of advertising agencies, she now curbs her Mad Men tendencies as a freelance communications and marketing consultant. 

Jeanine is also the Chief Mom Officer and Founder of theCityMoms. Find Jeanine on TwitterInstagram and in the sale section at Anthropologie.




Katie Windes de Puente has been a member of theCityMoms for as long as we can remember! As momma of Isabel and David, she’s a frequent hostess for our monthly outings to splash pads, parks and Newfields for the wee Wonders preschool art class.

We can also safely say that Katie is never seen without her bright smile. She’s a frequent contributor to theCityMoms bank of local photos as she wields a keen eye with her iPhone, and we’re blessed to have Katie on our team of volunteers and writers.

2019-01-07T14:41:04+00:00January 7th, 2019|
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