Retailers

As Inflation Rises and Economy Sags, Aldi Touts Value

CEO Jason Hart acknowledges ‘market shifts’ but assures ‘unbeatable value’ on supplier strength, efficiency
Aldi
Photograph by WGB Staff

Facing the twin challenges of increased consumer financial distress and rapid U.S. food price inflation—both related to the coronavirus crisis—Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart this week assured its shoppers of the retailer’s commitment to the lowest possible price, citing innovative suppliers and its operational efficiency.

“Regardless of how the market shifts, you can trust we will do everything in our power to continue to offer you unbeatable value,” Hart said in a message sent to Aldi shoppers on May 18.

Hart’s message reached shoppers after the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Consumer Price Index showed the largest year-over-year increase in retail food prices since 1974, reflecting supply chain and demand disruptions that have come with the national emergency. The bureau’s unemployment figures for the same period surged to 14.7%, its highest rate since the Great Depression.

“It seems as though, in the blink of an eye, everything has changed. While just about every aspect of our lives might look a little different now, including grocery shopping, I want to assure you that one thing will never change at Aldi: our commitment to offering you the lowest prices every day,” Hart said in the message to shoppers.

Discounters such as Aldi have traditionally done well in times of financial distress, sources note, using a low-cost structure behind operational efficiencies, a tight assortment dominated by private label goods and an everyday low-price positioning. These advantages in the near term have been challenged by a trend among shoppers to limit store trips and shop around less, while social distancing measures such as store capacity limits could affect traffic.

“We are proud to be leading the industry with some of the best, most innovative suppliers. These relationships, along with our simple and efficient approach to grocery retailing enable us to pass measurable savings along to you, day after day,” Hart said.

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