Jun 12, 2017

Aldi's plan to become the 3rd-biggest U.S. grocer

Elise Amendola / AP

Discount grocery chain Aldi unveiled a plan Monday to invest $5 billion in the U.S. and increase its American store count to 2,500 in a move that will make the firm the third-largest grocer in the United States, behind Walmart and Kroger.

A bare-bones strategy: Aldi's rapid growth has been driven by offering a small selection of private-label brands in a small-store format. The firm has bet that shoppers are ready to trade selection and customer service for prices even cheaper than Walmart's.

What it means for workers: A recent analysis by British trade publication RetailWeek found that Aldi ranks as the U.K's most efficient grocer in terms of revenue per employee, and the firm is replicating this low-head-count strategy in the United States. The rise of Aldi dovetails with a recent trend of job losses in retail, and suggests that the industry will continue to search for success while trimming employment.

Fewer, but better jobs: Aldi invests heavily in recruitment and training for management positions, which become all the more important in a skeletal operation. Forbes reports that it pays new recruits $75,000 per year, while offering a year of on-the-job training and access to a company car.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 883,225 — Total deaths: 44,156 — Total recoveries: 185,377Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 189,753 — Total deaths: 4,090 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: It's "a tale of two Americas" as the rich are more likely to work from home and the poor are more likely to report to work.
  4. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  5. State updates: Washington and California appear to have slowed their surges of new cases — Florida cases have been doubling the past four days, approaching 7,000.
  6. NYPD: Over 1,400 of its employees have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
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