About 90% of the products sold at Aldi are estimated to be private label. The genius behind the Aldi model is that they can still get people into their stores, based mainly on their reputation of quality food at low prices.
One of my favorite parts about recruiting for Aldi was how happy people were to find their new salaries. Cashiers would sometimes go from minimum wage to $15 an hour, and assistant managers would increase their hourly pay by $5 an hour.
At the same time, a higher salary comes with higher expectations. Aldi workers earn every penny of their extra hourly wage. As a result, you’ll rarely walk into an Aldi store and see an employee sitting idol. Instead, they are constantly on the move, stocking shelves, cleaning, or famously moving people through lines at a record pace.
The main reason why their staffing model helps keep costs low is because of the few employees on-site at any time. A supermarket may have dozens of employees working at any time. Aldi usually has three or four staff working at any time. This means that despite their higher salaries, the overall cost to Aldi is much lower than larger grocery stores.
If you visit an Aldi, bags do not come free. You’ll either need to scrounge up boxes available around the store from stocking shelves, purchase your bags at checkout, or bring your bags. Most people appear to bring their reusable bags, which keeps costs down from not having to pay baggers and is good for the environment.