ALDI’s new experience delivers more for its shoppers
The Modern Market redefines the new-gen shopping experience with new in-store journeys and store rollouts
The challenge: Elevate the brand and deploy an easily replicable experience that communicates quality, freshness, convenience, and value.
A world where high-quality food meets unbeatable prices. That's the ALDI way. Over 50 years ago, the German-born grocery giant revolutionized a discount store concept with its no-frills shopping experience. It also made a commitment to always stay true to its core values: top-notch products at everyday low prices. With smaller store footprints, simplified layouts and minimal fixtures, ALDI remains, to this day, an affordable grocery destination.
Rather than avoiding its identity as a discount store, ALDI embraces it. But it also recognized the need to attract a new generation of shoppers. They needed fresh ideas, including a revamped store layout to showcase products, and they needed it all to be seamlessly rolled out to hundreds of grocery locations across the U.S. Enter JLL Design Solutions.
Calling out the fresh focus
In addition to low prices, customers also demand freshness. One of the first moves the JLL team recommended was bringing the produce department from the back of the store to the front so that shoppers could see the bright fruits and vegetables at the beginning of their shopping journey. They also added dynamic graphic signs that deliver ALDI’s message of quality and value in their signature lighthearted voice and refreshed endcaps to feature playful and exciting products like florals, reinforcing a sense of freshness.
But those were just the first steps of what JLL and ALDI would call the new “Modern Market” concept—designed to emphasize the grocer’s existing quality and freshness. The concept, focused on healthy food, produce and wine, was designed to attract a more sophisticated shopper while retaining loyal core value shoppers.
Here are some of the key features of the Modern Market concept, first rolled out in California:
An open and inviting layout
High visibility of fresh produce and healthy foods
Elevated experience for key categories like wine and beer
Improved navigation and convenience
A look that communicates more than value
The ALDI/JLL collaboration also produced a refreshed shopper journey, from the exterior to the interior, where they opened the ceiling to brighten things up and give the illusion of a larger footprint. That also improved shoppers’ sightlines to eliminate any potential feelings of clutter or confusion.
The team then redesigned key lifestyle departments like wine to elevate the brand further and attract a broader audience. At the same time, updated merchandising fixtures with natural finishes kept ALDI’s aesthetic warm but minimal.
On the outside, the store’s exterior was reimagined slightly for adaptability across formats from urban centers to suburban strip malls.
A streamlined rollout experience
To simplify the rollout of the new design and make remodels seamless, the team created a bespoke web portal for easy access to guidelines and standards. It provides a one-stop shop for design materials, specifications and more. All 2,400 stores across 30+ states use the portal, ensuring brand consistency and communication across the portfolio.
The newly remodeled stores didn’t just exceed aesthetic expectations, they’ve also exceeded revenue expectations—doubling expected sales. ALDI has opened more than 900 stores in the past five years, with 139 locations opened or remodeled in 2022 and 120 new stores planned for 2023. It’s clear that customers—no matter the generation—are buying into what ALDI is selling… setting the discount grocer up for continued success in the years to come.