Aldi has announced its plans in Germany to build apartments on top of 30 of its stores in Berlin. The company says its objective is to help ease the housing crisis in the city, and that it's already building 200 apartments in this model. Two thousand more are planned, and they will be rented to those who qualify for affordable housing and students.
This is not Aldi’s first foray into real estate—the company has already done it in Hamburg. And in the U.K., Tesco and Sainsbury have also built apartments above their stores.
These moves are smart, especially as more competition is causing lower margins in their traditional businesses—and rental properties are lucrative businesses. And then there is the other factor: location, location, location. Living on top of a grocery store increases the odds dramatically that that store becomes your primary shop.
Wonder just how long until we see Aldi expanding this concept here in the U.S.—especially for the new store construction they have planned.