Aldi vs. Walmart (with a side of Trader Joes)
July 29, 2010 7:45 PM Subscribe
Does Aldi have any moral high ground on Wal-Mart?
Do they both have the same flaws and virtues? Or is it something in between?
posted by harnharn to home & garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just moved out of Trader Joe country (Carrboro, NC) and into Aldi country (Carbondale, IL) (I could be wrong but I think the two chains don't overlap much because of their demographic targeting). Like any good greenish type I go to the weekly farmers market, but as I travel by bicycle whenever I hit up a grocery store I try to stock up, to fill up my panniers. This means buying some (nonlocal) produce at Aldi alongside other staples like nuts, fruit, yogurt, a little meat, what have you...
I love Aldi. It's cheap, it's clean, it reminds me of Trader Joes. But lately I've begun to wonder: should stay loyal to Aldi as Trader Joe's stepchild, or should I add Wal-Mart to my grocery mix? From past trips I've seen better produce selection, if not quality, at Wal-Mart, plus lots of other affordable grocery items (I'm setting aside the non-food part of the store - but yes, I go there sometimes). Not only that, but Aldi's impact on the local economy seems to be every bit as complicated as Wal-mart's - they may pay their employees better and offer better benefits, but there's practically no one working their stores. Both have the low, low prices. Fine from a free-market POV - that's why I go - but then that's always been Wal-Mart's defense too.
Are there particular Wal-Mart sins that Aldi is free from? Labor's probably gonna be the biggie, and I'm just not sure Aldi's on better footing, on net...
(random Aldi/Trader-Joes comparo: I think Aldi's packaging quality is higher than Trader Joes! Surprising, since they are the cheaper chain - I've yet to have a bag of corn chips rip)