Nationwide supermarket chain Aldi is cut from a bit of a different cloth than some of the mega-stores that dominate the grocery industry. Unlike big box retailers, Aldi locations are generally smaller, carry few name-brand products, and keep their shelf selections to a minimum. All of it is intended to reduce overhead, which keeps prices low.
If you're still not one of the Aldi faithful, then the chain's newest strategy might change your mind. The company is rolling out home delivery to more than 5000 zip codes across 35 states, with 80 percent of its 1700 stores expected to offer the service by the end of the year.
For a convenience charge of $5.99 and a small price increase per item, customers will be able to place a grocery order on the partnering Instacart app and schedule delivery anywhere from one hour to one week out. (First-time users will have the $5.99 fee waived.) The store will deliver virtually all of its stock, from packaged items to produce and fresh meats.
Aldi is also planning on testing curbside service, which will allow consumers to place an order and then have it ready for pick-up on site.
The chain's efforts to offer more options for shoppers come as the retail industry makes a major move into minimizing time spent pushing a cart. Walmart, Kroger, and Whole Foods are among stores offering grocery delivery. While the option is expected to be the next big shift in the industry, market research firm NPD Group recently reported that the majority of consumers still like visiting supermarkets. In addition to personally selecting produce, the act of walking through the store can help remind them of other items they need.