June 7, 2019

Shanghai welcomes Aldi!

Aldi Shanghai, store front (photo: Andrew Meredith)
Andrew Meredith
Aldi goes Chinese
Thought our readers would like to see some photos of Aldi's first two stores in the People's Republic of China. The German value merchant opened up for business this morning in Shanghai.

We also managed to glean a few statements from country manager Christoph Schwaiger via WeChat in between paring the cheese, counting the olives, and swabbing down the counters.

Meanwhile, if you go shopping in China's largest city, please don't forget to drop us a line...

"Chinese buns with
sausage and sauerkraut

Aldi China CEO Christoph Schwaiger (photo: Aldi Süd)
Aldi Süd
Aldi's man in China: Christoph Schwaiger
Nǐ hǎo, Herr Schwaiger, in what ways does the physical format of your Chinese stores differ from what customers are familiar with in Europe?

When we designed the Aldi China stores, we always kept local customers in mind. For example, we know that Chinese consumers use online payment services extensively for shopping – both offline and online. So in order to cater to their needs, we created in-store features such as 'Scan & Go' on the Chinese messaging and payment app WeChat, which enables customers to check out conveniently on their mobile phone.

Through our WeChat mini-programme we can also offer instant delivery services within three kilometres of each store.

What product categories are you offering?

We offer a carefully curated range of over 1,300 lines across 15 categories, including both locally-sourced and imported products. Categories include wines & spirits, snacks, beverages, fresh produce, ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook, as well as personal care and pet care products.

Aldi Shanghai, interior 1, bakery department (photo: Andrew Meredith)
Andrew Meredith
Bakery department
We will also debut some interesting hybrid products such as our Sichuan-style spicy crayfish salad or the 'Berlin bao' – a traditional Chinese, steamed bun filled with German sausage and sauerkraut.

Despite a growing assortment and larger stores, Aldi is traditionally a discounter. Your first stores in Shanghai are in prosperous neighbourhoods. Will you be changing your international price strategy in China?

Aldi Shanghai, interior 2 (photo: Andrew Meredith)
Andrew Meredith
Special offer
Aldi China's development is aligned with our global growth strategy, which offers high-quality products at great value. When we chose our store locations, we wanted to ensure that our stores were within close proximity to both residential districts and office areas in order to maximise the service we can provide to our customers.

So, we chose densely populated catchment areas with a good mix of residential and commercial activities.

To what extent do you believe that you are becoming a convenience-oriented retailer?

Aldi Shanghai, interior 3 (photo: Andrew Meredith)
Andrew Meredith
Light, modern, relaxed
Both of our pilot stores will offer integrated online and offline services in order to create a hassle-free shopping experience for our customers. Our physical stores are very much an important part of our retail ecosystem and will be positioned as neighbourhood grocery stores to supplement our customers' busy and aspirational lives.

Recently a number of big international retailers such as Carrefour and Auchan have begun to consider whether they should reduce their level of engagement in the People's Republic. Does this worry you?

Aldi Shanghai, F&V, interior 4 (photo: Andrew Meredith)
Andrew Meredith
Fruit & veg
Since the day we started in Germany over one hundred years ago in 1913, Aldi has been remained steadfast to one principle – that is to provide high-quality products at great quality to our customers.

Our focus has always been on our customer instead of on competitors. We believe that as long as we continue to put our customer at the centre of everything we do, we will be on the right track.

Aldi Shanghai, wine area (photo: Andrew Meredith)
Andrew Meredith
Wine area
Many thanks for this chat on WeChat, Herr Schwaiger...

Bié kèqì

Lebensmittel Zeitung with its online sisters (photo: LZ)
photo: LZ
Our German retail B2B newspaper, Lebensmittel Zeitung, in print & digital
Read in
German: 'Aldi will die chinesische Mittelschicht erobern' and 'Ein möglichst stressfreier Einkauf' by international editor Mike Dawson on page 10 of Lebensmittel Zeitung, no. 24, 14.06.2019

More store photos are available on our German website
'So präsentiert Aldi sich in Shanghai' (paywall)


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1 Comment (Write a comment)

  1. Weslie Zhang
    Created 10 June, 2019 18:30 | Permanent link

    First Aldi store in China

    Very exciting news, isn’t it?! I will visit my husband’s family in Shanghai this October and will definitely visit the first Aldi store in China. I'm very proud to be an Aldi family member!

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