Customers say a Tulsa ' No Frills' grocery store saves them money

Friday, March 18th 2005, 10:27 am
By: News On 6

Aldi's grocery store has no movies, no magazines and no bank, but the customers who shop there say they love it because they save money.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells shows us the "No Frills" grocery stores are building their business on word of mouth and big savings.

Lori Griffith is checking out at the grocery store, a different kind of store. It's one of three Aldi locations in the Tulsa area."I like it because it's small and I can get in and out quickly." Four kids will do that to you, but it's the savings on what she buys that keeps her coming back. "There are certain things I buy here cause it's cheaper than anywhere else." What she can't get here she gets up the street.

Mark Bersted is an Aldi vice president, he says they use what he called a limited assortment concept. They sell produce without a produce department, meat without a meat department. They do have about 1,100 basic items that supply 85 to 90 percent of the average weekly shopping list.

They don't have a published phone number or a customer service department. "We don't have time to man a customer service booth, we don't sell stamps, we are not a bank. All that adds up to overhead for a retailer." Overhead increases prices.

Here's something else. They don't sack your groceries, you do that yourself. They don't provide the bags either, they'll sell you some, or bring your own and save the money.

Aldi doesn't advertise, they rely on word of mouth, something else customers don't pay for and they rent you the grocery cart. They are locked up, a quarter in the slot unlocks the cart. So when Lori Griffith's 9-year old brings it back and locks it up, he gets the quarter back. Wonder if mom's gonna let him keep it.

There are nine Aldi stores in Oklahoma, four in northeast Oklahoma.