The first foundation stone was laid in 1913 with the opening of a small food store in the German town of Essen. It didn't take long for this little 'service store' to become a popular place to shop.
During the '40s, an expansion program was created and more ALDI stores were opened. In 1954, a celebration was held for the opening of the 50th store in Germany.
By 1960 ALDI had grown to a network of over 300 stores between the Ruhr Valley and Aachen. The prosperous family business was then divided into two independent companies: ALDI Süd - to service the South, and ALDI Nord - for the North.
'Self-service' was still a relatively new retail structure in the '60s and ALDI became the first company in Germany to adopt this new retail concept. While customers were still able to take advantage of the same high quality products as before, they could now purchase them at much more competitive prices.
In 1983, ALDI Süd started chilled distribution depots and sold fresh products such as cheese, yoghurt and sausages. Frozen products came in 1998 and were closely followed by fresh meat. ALDI, to this day, continues to keep up with the ever-evolving taste of the modern consumer.
Today, our rapidly growing network has more than 7,000 stores and serves millions of people across three continents.