Could Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd merge their promotional offers?

Date : 06 January 2021

Maxime Delacour

Senior Retail Analyst

The two discounters continue to work closer together in Germany. To better understand how their strategies are evolving we looked at the first folders of the year. Below are the key learnings we identified from the promotional offers on private label and branded products, Veganuary and the marketing messages.

Two different folders but common offers on several categories

In many European countries the weekly promotional folders remain a major tool to drive footfall and sales, especially for discounters. In Germany, the folders of Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have a slightly different format and design. Some of the secondary campaigns, such as the Chinese New Year in this week’s folders (see below) are the same whilst others are unique to each discounter.

The number of identical products on offer in both folders can be higher than 50%, with fresh produce, meat and fish offers mostly specific to each discounter.

Source: Aldi Süd (left), Aldi Nord (right)


Common major weekly campaigns

The two discounters started the year with a common campaign around Veganuary and health. It is a good example of the ongoing strategy to merge their private label products and sourcing. It enables the retailers to offer more competitive prices on most products and develop common promotional campaigns on a weekly basis

The Veganuary trend is growing rapidly in Germany with many retailers developing campaigns around health. Yet, Aldi was one of the few discounters creating a special event around Veganuary and health during the first week of January 2021, while the others focused on low prices and value.

Source: Aldi Süd (left), Aldi Nord (right)


The Veganuary and health campaigns at Aldi Nord and Süd in details:

  • Main messages and design used in the folders are similar
  • Most non-grocery products advertised are identical as the discounters have a common sourcing for these products
  • Grocery products advertised are different due to the different private label brands and regional specificities
  • Prices are the same across all products advertised at both discounters
Source: Aldi Süd (left), Aldi Nord (right)


Same promotional offers for branded products

When the discounters started to work closer together the merging of the sourcing of branded products was a priority. It started with a handful of brands, such as Coca-Cola and Kerry Gold. More than a year later, more brands are now involved. The objective was to reach a bigger size for orders and better compete on prices with Lidl.

Source: Aldi Süd (left), Aldi Nord (right)


Different design and specific campaigns

Despite many assets and pack shots being identical, the two folders still have their own design and identity. However, they are becoming increasingly similar and so it would make sense for the two discounters to move towards a common design and format for their folders, aligned with their current strategy. 

Each discounter continues to run its own specific campaigns, allowing for flexibility and better adaptation to their shoppers’ needs.

So, could the two discounters completely merge their promotional offers?

Looking at how the folders have evolved recently it seems likely and thus for several reasons:

  • They are in an ongoing strategy to merge their private label brands and the sourcing of branded products
  • It will unlock lower prices and put Aldi Nord and Süd in a much stronger position to compete with other retailers
  • This could help saving on costs through better sourcing, supply chain and reducing the production costs of the folders if they create a combined one

Several signs indicate the promotional offers and folders could be merged at some point. However, even if Aldi Nord and Süd finalise the merging of their private label brands, we expect them to develop several versions of the folders with local offers to adapt to shoppers needs across the country. This is a strategy widely used by other major retailers across Europe.

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