Mrs Schürmann, please tell us a little bit about ALDI SWITZERLAND for starters. How long has ALDI been active in Switzerland, and how did your efforts develop?
ALDI SWITZERLAND has grown each year since it entered the market eleven years ago. We have expanded from four stores to 185. A scant 100 employees turned into 3,000. Turnover has increased each year as well. According to the GfK study, ALDI SWITZERLAND is currently the third major player in the food retail business after the two duopolists Coop and Migros. We are therefore quite pleased with the way business has developed.
What sets you apart in the Swiss market? How do you distinguish yourself from established and new competitors?
We successfully introduced the discount principle into Switzerland. With a manageable product range of 1,400 standard products, which is supplemented with sales that change on a weekly basis, we are very efficient. From the beginning, we focused on the strengths of discounting and capitalised on them: our own inexpensive brands, an eye for quality products and a focus on customer service. Anyone who wants to have a simple, inexpensive and uncomplicated shopping experience is at the right place at ALDI SWITZERLAND. We guarantee our customers excellent products that are unbeatable value for money. That’s because we believe that good products don’t need to be expensive. Our purchasing department therefore also makes sure that the products selected fulfil the high demands we place on quality.
Your campaign “I’m an ALDI kid” surprised people in Switzerland and garnered attention. What distinguishes an “ALDI kid”?
Simple - consistent - responsible. Everyone who can identify with the values of ALDI SWITZERLAND in their surroundings is an ALDI kid. An ever-increasing number of customers, suppliers and employees identify with ALDI SWITZERLAND, and they profess that they are ALDI kids. We launched the campaign “I’m an Aldi kid” to encourage the public to rethink the cliché of the Migros or Coop kids. ALDI SWITZERLAND’s offer – the best quality for low prices – is the smart alternative.
You have had extensive calculations performed for your locations with myclimate. Did the results surprise you or confirm what you already thought? And which measures resulted from them?
Both. For example, the calculations showed that the company-wide switch to using electricity from Swiss water power at the beginning of 2014 considerably contributed to reducing our carbon footprint. We expected that. We are encouraged by the calculations’ indication that the loss of refrigerants is taking on an increasingly prominent role. We will be consistent on our path to using climate-friendly refrigerants in our cooling processes.
What was the main reason you also wanted to compensate for the remaining emissions with myclimate?
As part of the concept TODAY FOR TOMORROW, ALDI SWITZERLAND is combining measures and strategies in the areas of social responsibility and sustainability. At ALDI SWITZERLAND, we want to reduce our own carbon footprint and thereby make our contribution to environmental and climate protection‑. We are also compensating by supporting myclimate projects in Madagascar, Nepal and China. In addition, we are setting environmentally friendly trends in the areas of waste management, recycling and photovoltaic cells on our store roofs. With e-filling stations, we offer our customers alternatives in mobility and raise their awareness of using resources sparingly with tips and measures for saving energy. Additionally, we are always on the lookout for smart and efficient ways to optimise our logistics.
ALDI SWITZERLAND describes its business model in three concepts: quality for the best price, honest offers and efficient processes. Responsible actions towards our customers, business partners, employees, society and the environment should be one of our premises.