Aldi vs Aldi

Before I moved to Berlin, I was aware of the foreign land of Aldi Nord (North), but I was always lucky enough to live below the Aldi equator where I could enjoy shopping at the cheap alternative to Rewe, Edeka and other grocery chains in Germany: Aldi Süd (South). Even when I was in the US and in Ireland, the Aldi stores showed the orange-blue logo of the, in my opinion, far better chain.

Shopping at Aldi? Of course!

Although both carry the same name, the quality of the products, the product range and the shopping experience differ quite a lot. Where I come from, so South of the ‘border’ that runs across the country through Mülheim an der Ruhr, Aldi is part of every household’s shopping tour. As a customer, I enjoyed the spacious premises with even more spacious parking lots and the wide product range. Of course, Aldi is still a discounter whose whole concept is based on selling only a few different products of the same sort, but all the basics would be covered.

Vegetable aisle at an Aldi Süd store

My friend told me that where she comes from, Saxony, shopping at Aldi is seen as inferior because the logo as well as the interior design look like the chain hasn’t evolved since the eighties. I never thought that way because it is a well-known fact that Aldi has high-quality products from famous brands that sell their products as no name products at discount prices.

Aldi Nord – seriously?!

However, my first Aldi Nord experience in Berlin was shocking! When I entered one of the stores, I instantly felt claustrophobic because the store was tiny, windy and full of shelves that were badly placed and looked unorganized. The whole atmosphere was suffocating – the lights too dim, the floors too dark, the space non-existent. Of course, Aldi Süd is not exactly a design masterpiece either, but one can move between the long aisles without fearing to knock something over.

“Where am I?” – badly structured Aldi Nord store

The next thing that irritated me incredibly was the fact that the vegetable/fruit section was so small. One side of the shelf for vegetables, one for fruit – nothing more than the basics and far from being fresh with very few organic products. Another plus for Aldi Süd: Practically every product has an organic counterpart at a reasonable price.

If you don’t believe me…

… take a look at the companies’ homepages: It is obvious that Aldi Süd has a lot more to offer than Aldi Nord. The services such as Aldi travelling, Aldi talk, etc. are offered by both, but the product ranges that are displayed vary significantly in size.

Should you be from the North and have the chance to go to an Aldi Süd soon, just check whether you see the same differences in:

  • design (lighting, floor color, etc.)
  • structure (placement of aisles, products, etc.)
  • space (size of store, space between aisles)
  • product range

I’m aware that this is probably a very one-sided view since the lack of products might be a result of space restrictions in the city and that where the stores are bigger, the product range is too. However, if you google ‘difference between Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord’, you will find many articles coming to the same result as I have: Aldi Süd simply offers more in bigger, more organized stores.

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