As Aldi opened its first two Chinese supermarkets in Shanghai, early images suggest that Aldi is aiming for a higher position in the market in China than it has here. There was no lack of interest, with long queues at the entrances.
German beer and French wine
The German discounter emphasises that these are pilot stores, which can be further adjusted and attuned to the Chinese market: the retailer wants to try out innovative retail strategies to offer a better shopping experience to the local community. Customer data and feedback will be analysed to tweak and improve the product range.
The supermarkets were designed by Landini Associates, the same team that also came up with Aldi's new store concept in Australia. They are offering a blend of local and imported products, famous brands and private labels. All in all, there are 1300 references in fifteen product categories. German beer is of course included, and so is French wine in an extensive wine aisle.
Scan & go app
In the prepared meals department, Chinese shoppers will be introduced to a typical German ham roast with sauerkraut and baked potatoes, a spicy crayfish salad in Szechuan style or a remarkable fusion dish such as 'Berliner Bao': a German bratwurst with sauerkraut served in a traditional Chinese steamed sandwich.
Aldi is going for a seamless online-to-offline experience here with a scan & go option on WeChat, eliminating the need for shoppers to wait in line at the checkout. There is also a service that delivers orders straight at home in a three-kilometre radius. The Chinese customers' enthusiastic reception is clear from the video report below.