Aldi, stylized as ALDI, represents the collective brand name of two German multinational discount supermarket chains, collectively operating over 12,000 stores across 18 countries. Founded in 1946 by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht, who acquired their mother's store in Essen, the business split into two entities in 1960, known as Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, headquartered in Essen and Mülheim respectively.

In 1962, they introduced the name Aldi, derived from Albrecht Diskont, which is pronounced [ˈaldiː]. Although legally distinct since 1966, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd maintain a close relationship, often appearing as a single entity under certain store brands or in negotiations with contractors. Aldi Nord operates 35 regional companies with approximately 2,200 stores in western, northern, and eastern Germany, while Aldi Süd operates 32 regional companies with 2,000 stores in western and southern Germany.

Internationally, Aldi Nord operates in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, while Aldi Süd operates in Australia, Austria, China, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In Austria and Slovenia, Aldi operates under the Hofer brand. Additionally, Aldi Nord owns Trader Joe's grocery chain in the United States, operating independently. In 2023, Aldi Süd announced the acquisition of 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys supermarkets in the southern United States.

The Albrecht brothers' retail journey began in 1913 when their mother opened a small store in Essen. After World War II, Karl and Theo Albrecht took over their mother's business and expanded rapidly, pioneering concepts such as discounting and efficient inventory management. By 1960, they had 300 stores in Germany.

Aldi Süd embarked on its expansion into the United States under the Aldi brand, initially targeting the Eastern and Midwestern regions. In 2015, Aldi Süd unveiled expansion plans, venturing into the Southern California market, where Aldi Nord's Trader Joe's is headquartered. By August 2019, reports indicated that the company was executing a $3.4 billion investment strategy to reach 2,500 stores across the country by the end of 2022, alongside an additional $1.6 billion allocated for the renovation of 1,300 existing US stores. As of February 2020, Aldi operated over 1,900 stores in 36 states. The company also offered online grocery ordering with home delivery services covering 95 percent of its store locations in the US, facilitated through a partnership with Instacart.

 

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