ALDI enters China with two store pilot in Shanghai

European discounter ALDI has entered the Chinese market, opening two pilot stores in Shanghai using a format designed by Landini Associates.

The Chinese stores have sparked enormous local interest, with the retailer having to manage queues outside the stores to ensure shoppers could get in.

The stores are an evolution of those that the agency developed for ALDI in Australia, but with key differences for the Chinese market. Chinese consumers favour multiple visits to small stores during a typical week, so Aldi is employing a smaller format.

In-store the emphasis is on fresh produce and ready meals, with key products merchandised at the ends of each aisle alongside clear messaging.

Key departments are snacks, produce, bakery, alcohol, imported goods, and health & beauty.

An on-site Food Station is a new development for the Chinese market; ready meals can be taken away or eaten at an in-store dining kiosk.

The stores feature an extensive and distinctive series of graphic illustrations and messages, which are unique to the Chinese market. Landini Associates developed these to communicate the brand ethos, product freshness, value, and quality to a new customer base.

No signage or ticketing is suspended from the ceiling. Instead, category signage is displayed around the store perimeter. The ceiling is used for a vibrant mural which acts as a ‘hero graphics’ feature.

A low cost materials palette includes locally-sourced brick, terrazzo, concrete, and timbers, with warm yellow accents chosen to emphasise the feeling of freshness. LED lighting reduces glare and energy costs.

“Our two new stores are designed as pilot stores where retail approaches will be trialled and adjusted according to data and feedback from customers,” says ALDI in a statement. “This new store format has been customised and tailored specifically for the China market to better understand and interact with Chinese consumers.”

Photography: Andrew Meredith

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