Currently, there are a large number of supermarket chains, each with its own characteristics. Well, of all of them there are two that are very similar: Aldi and Lidl. The first thing that stands out is that they have a very short name, and that they share a good part of the letters. In addition, both chains are German and offer weekly promotions not only for food products, but also for clothing, household items… The commercial policy of Aldi and Lidl is very similar.
But why all these coincidences? To answer this question, we will first know the history of Aldi and Lidl.
Aldi was born in Germany in 1945 by the brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht.. During the first years of operation, they offered discounts through special promotions and coupons to customers. In addition, the products had very competitive prices. All this caused Aldi to expand at full speed, and in just a decade it opened 300 stores throughout Germany.
The first Lidl supermarket opened its doors in 1973 in the German city Ludwigshafen-Mundenheim, as part of the Schwarz group. The rate of growth was very similar to that of Lidl, and in 1988 it already had 450 stores in West Germany alone. Lidl arrived in Spain in 1994, with the opening of the first store in Lleida.
Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, a professor at the University of North Carolina, and Laurens Sloot from the University of Groningen, explain in the book ‘etail Disruptors: The Spectacular Rise and Impact of the Hard Discounters’ what are the pillars of the business model of Aldi and Lidl.
High volume per referral: conventional supermarkets have around 50,000 references, in both German chains this figure is barely 2,000. This makes logistics costs considerably lower and can offer more competitive prices to customers.
Investment: The business model is very successful and profitable because Aldi and Lidl recover the investment of each store very quickly, within an average period of two years.
Cost control: Discount supermarkets save the most on rent and decoration of the premises, as well as on staff. Many of the products are presented directly on the pallets.
providers: To this we must add that they offer stable contracts to suppliers that go beyond price.
This is the curious reason why Aldi and Lidl look so much alike: they have the same business model.