Aldi's new store concept focuses on fresh

Koen Piessens, Aldi

Aldi is launching a new store concept in Belgium, in which the fresh food offer takes on an even more prominent role. The retailer is bringing the idea of the brochure to the shop floor.

 

Responding to customer needs

At the entrance, customers find a proper fresh food market. All fresh products are displayed here: fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, fresh fish and chilled convenience products such as ready-made salads, fresh fruit juices and other prepared meals and drinks. This is the most striking innovation of the updated store concept that the discounter launched on Wednesday in Herenthout and Jodoigne.

 

The new concept fits in with the evolution Aldi has been undergoing for some years now: the retailer is investing heavily in fresh products, for example, by adding its own range of pre-packed meat products in all its stores and by developing a range of fruit and vegetables in bulk. "People come to the stores more often to buy fresh products. So we match our layout to the customers' needs", Sales Director Koen Piessens explains. "This way, customers can immediately fill the shopping trolley with what is at the top of their shopping list."

 

Continuation of the brochure in the store's layout 

We were given a guided tour the spacious and well-organised shop of 1,350 sqm that opened in Herenthout, near Antwerp. At the very front of the store, shoppers will find the fruit and vegetable section, with a prominent position for the special offers. The wall-mounted refrigeration system contains pre-packed vegetables, salads and meals. Further on, there are five metres of pre-packed meat products, the fish counter and the bakery section. The refrigeration unit against the back wall contains, among other things, festive products, dairy products and cold meats.

 

At the centre of the store, in the middle of each aisle, Aldi surprises its shoppers with changing promotions. In addition to the 1600 permanent products, the retailer offers about a hundred in/out promotions: the weekly specials, the seasonal themes and the promotions on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From now on, Aldi will be presenting these non-food offers in two aisles: one for the Wednesday promotions and one for the Saturday promotions. "In this way, we extend the logic of the brochure into the store layout."

 

Thoroughly tested

Internally, Aldi refers to the 'ANIKo 2.0' formula. In terms of look and feel, the concept builds further upon the makeover launched in 2018, but the store's layout has been thoroughly changed. "We have moved just about everything around." The new layout was thoroughly and extensively tested beforehand in five stores across the country. The results were positive: all new or refurbished stores will therefore be equipped with this fresh concept from now on.

 

At the end of this year, the new store layout will already be in place in around ten Aldi stores. Next year, the supermarket chain will roll out the new store layout, including the fresh food market experience in 36 outlets - including five new stores.