Aldi Süd is starting home deliveries in Germany, possibly adding a pick-up service later. The move is remarkable, as hard discounters have so far kept away from the online competition.
From June, Aldi Süd will trial a food delivery service in the city of Mülheim (North Rhine-Westphalia), where the discounter’s headquarters are located. Initially, only employees will be able to order their groceries in the webshop or the app, but by the fourth quarter the service will become available to all residents, German trade magazine Lebensmittel Zeitung reports.
Customers will be able to choose from 1,300 items, including fresh and frozen products. That is the majority of the 1,700 items in a physical Aldi store, and at identical prices. Delivery will be made by electric delivery vans from a dark store, from Monday to Saturday. It is not yet known how much delivery costs will be charged. A collection service will also follow later. Aldi Süd is conducting this test in close cooperation with its colleagues at Aldi Nord.
This is a remarkable step for a hard discounter: until now, Aldi did not engage in any online activities itself. In Britain, the discounter did already test delivery in cooperation with Deliveroo, but those attempts have since been discontinued. In the United States, the chain cooperates with personal shopper service Instacart. Arch-rival Lidl also does not yet sell food online, however it does sell non-food.
The reason is obvious: it is almost impossible to become profitable online selling low-priced products at tiny margins. In this way, however, the discounters leave the online playing field completely open to the other supermarket chains, which are constantly expanding their e-commerce offerings to attract customers. So the fact that Aldi does start delivering groceries, at a time when consumers are more price-sensitive than ever, can only increase online competition.