The German grocery chain Aldi has the cheapest prices compared to Wal-Mart and Kroger, according to a new study.
Aldi's basket total came to $72.30, compared to Wal-Mart's $85.88 basket and Kroger's $93.73 basket. With savings available from the Kroger Plus Card, however, Kroger's basket total dropped to $86.78.
Aldi keeps its prices low by offering a lean selection of items that's heavy on house brands. The chain carries just 5% of the inventory found in traditional grocery stores, according to Cheapism's Raechel Conover.
The store also requires customers to bring their own shopping bags, bag their own groceries, and pay a 25-cent deposit to use carts. The deposit is refunded when customers return the carts, so Aldi doesn't have to pay employees to round them up.
Businessweek's Diane Brady reported earlier this month that Safeway, the second-largest U.S. grocery chain, may be moving toward a more curated selection of items as part of a plan to boost lackluster sales.
"Most shoppers don’t want 20 brands of hummus or yogurt," Brady wrote. "They want experts to narrow that down to the best two or three, each offering distinct flavors and characteristics."
Aldi has nearly 1,300 U.S. locations, mostly in the Midwest and East, and plans to open 650 more U.S. stores within the next five years.
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