Until I hear from someone who says otherwise, I'm convinced none of the reporters responsible for this Business Week cover-story acutally set foot in one of their subject's U.S. grocery stores. Why?
Because the most striking fact about Aldi, the German mega-discounter, aside from the bewildering array of canned and frozen pork products, is the practice of renting shopping carts. No quarter, no cart.
Besides, does it really make sense to compare Aldi's to Wal-Mart when even Aldi fans say they cannot get everything they need from an Aldi's store that only stocks 700 items? Simply put, it is not that hard to have fat margins on only 700, mostly in-house, items. Do we really want to christen Aldi the next big thing in retailing?
Bet you a quarter Wal-Mart smokes 'em.