Aldi cyberises logo for China online entry
Small wonder then that grocers generally opt for a conservative approach when it comes to design and optics. In the past, few retailers were more conservative than Aldi Süd (Aldi South), but the German discount giant has become noticeably more adventurous on its home market over the last two or three years.
The new buzz is multifacetted and can be seen, for instance, in plans for an online shop in the People's Republic of China this spring. Soon shoppers in Old Europe, Donald Trump country, and Oz will also be greeted by a company sign worthy of our exciting new cyber age.
This will be the first time Aldi has entered a foreign country without first opening a physical store. Country manager Christoph Schwaiger is convinced that "Chinese customers will be highly interested in the quality and low prices that Aldi has to offer".
Alibaba Europe manager Terry von Bibra stresses that the Chinese middle-classes are becoming increasingly interested in products "Made in Germany". However Aldi will primarily source fmcg products for this rapidly growing market of 415 million online customers from its suppliers in Australia.
The offer is garnered with a little information about the secretive, privately-run business, including "10,000 stores" and "100 years". This is not bad going for a company that didn't become a discounter in the modern sense until 1963.
As we await March 20 and April 25 for more details regarding the online shop, we must temporarily make do with the corporate splurge about the new logo. Here we learn that the discounter was assisted by brand and design company illion.markensocieaet. The colours have been slightly changed to red, blue, cyan, yellow and orange.
What the company doesn't write is that Germany's most profitable discounter is fighting on all fronts to dynamise sales, which don't seem to have increased in 2016. Efforts include a big revamp of all its 1,860 German stores by the end of 2019; a considerable increase in the number of brands within the assortment; and a comprehensive reorientation of its own-label offer.*
The new logo will be introduced successively to all nine countries within the Aldi South group as from this June. It is fitting that it looks so cyber and has first appeared on a Chinese online site. This is, after all, the 21st Century, and Aldi has clearly seen the sign of the times...
* 2015 gross sales in southern and western Germany grew by 1.6 per cent to €15.7bn. This equates to an annual average of €8.5m per store. The current wave of store modernisations was initiated in spring 2016 and involves individual store closures of five days to five weeks with an attendant reduction of sales. Aldi states, however, that it is "very optimistic" as regards the results obtained so far
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