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Does Aldi Own Trader Joe’s?

does aldi own trader joe's

The question on everyone’s lips: In what way is Aldi connected to Trader Joe’s?

It would be strange for one shop to own the other, as they are in competition with each other, correct?

Well, let’s just say that history never fails to provide all the juiciest gossip, especially with companies that have been around for decades. There is definitely a link in ownership between Aldi and Trader Joe’s, but more on that later.

So, let’s look at how it all began and answer the question Does Aldi Own Trader Joe’s?

does aldi own trader joe's

The Family Business

Anna Albrecht opened a grocery store in 1913, called “Karl Albrecht Spirituosen und Lebensmittel”. The shop was located in a lower-income area, Schonnebeck, in Essen, a city in Germany. As they came from humble beginnings, her sons, Karl and Theo, were both committed to frugal lifestyles.

It was reported that Theo, in particular, was obsessive about saving money, and the brothers decided to turn the store into “the first discount store in the world” after WWII. This led to the founding of Albrecht KG, and the brothers opened four stores that reflected their passion for discounted shopping in Essen.

The first discount store

Their small chain proved to be successful, offering wealth despite post-war poverty conditions. By keeping the prices as low as possible, they garnered a lot of support from their community. This by no means meant that they were living lavishly. Theo’s obsession with frugality meant that he would never splurge on anything, wearing old suits and recycling everything he possibly could.

They never had to advertise their stores either, people came by word of mouth, and they were able to expand to 13 stores in less than two years. Over the next ten years, their empire grew to 300 stores.

The Family Scandal

Unfortunately, in 1960, the two brothers disagreed on whether or not they should be selling cigarettes and tobacco products. Theo was confident that it would help their bottom line, whereas Karl refused, saying that the product would attract thieves, who would shoplift from them.

Their only course of action was to split the family business, with each taking their own direction, literally. This was a brilliant move on their part, ensuring that they would not become competitors to each other.

The North and South divide…

Theo launched Albrecht-Diskont Nord (Albrecht Discount North) in the North of Germany, and Karl had Albrecht-Diskont Süd (Albrecht Discount South), without cigarettes, in the South. There was a line straight through the middle of Germany that neither would cross, securing their own territories.

Their legal separation was established in 1966. The Aldi name was later chosen by combining the first two letters of Albrecht and Diskont for brevity.

How Does Trader Joe’s Fit In With Aldi?

The Aldi that America knows and loves today came from an expansion into US territory by Aldi Süd in 1976. Of course, Aldi Nord could not miss out on the opportunity to expand to the US. However, it would be hard to map out another “Aldi Equator” through the US.

Instead, they simply bought out an established discount chain in 1979: Trader Joe’s. Aldi is said to have plans to reach its goal of 2500 stores nationwide by the end of the year, whereas Trader Joe’s, under the reign of Aldi Nord, has around 475.

And the answer is…

Yes, Aldi owns Trader Joe’s. But not Aldi Nord, which has Aldi stores in the US, but rather Aldi Süd. However, both Aldi’s have stores all over Europe. But they have amicably agreed to divide up which countries they would operate in. So they would, once again, not have to compete with each other.

Looking For Retail Opportunities?

If you’re looking to get hired, then check out my Trader Joes Application and Trader Joes Interview Questions, as well as my Cashier Job Description, my Sales Associate Job Description, and my Sales Associate Interview Questions to help you out.

I’ve also put together a few more options with my Whole Foods Application, my Pick n Save Grocery Application, and my Giant Food Stores Application, or how about my Lucky Supermarkets Application, my Price Chopper Application, and my City Market Application, as well as my Shaws Application, and Tops Application.

In addition, we have our Smiths Food And Drug Application, our Giant Eagle Application, and our Publix Application, or perhaps you’d be interested in our United Supermarkets Application, our Walmart Application, our Walmart Interview Questions, as well as common Walmart Cashier Interview Questions in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all family disagreements in business could be handled this fairly? And their legacy lives on, in that the family values still hold strong after the death of the two brothers in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

So much so that any future descendants of the Albrecht brothers who cause business issues or embrace lifestyles that are too lavish and outside of the frugal philosophy of their ancestors would not be allowed to take on any roles within the two respective companies.

All the very best and enjoy your shopping!

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