SB:Along with this store growth, are there any big plans around the product assortment coming to stores, any trends in terms of what type of Aldi exclusives shoppers can expect to see?
JH: We work closely with our supply base to continue our focus on innovation and quality across the store. We’re always testing out new products via Aldi Finds, which are how we offer shoppers new and unexpected food, household, apparel and lifestyle products for a limited time. This offering enables customers to “vote” with their purchase, which gives us insight into what they like and what they’d like to see more of. It's one of the many ways we keep a pulse on consumer interests and shopping trends, and adjust our products accordingly.
SB: What impact does store growth have on Aldi's process of ramping up products, working with supplier partners — does it present new challenges, new products to fit new market tastes?
JH: Expanding our store count means deepening existing supplier relationships and establishing new ones, when needed. We have many suppliers that have grown together with Aldi over the past 40 years and we look for partners who are interested in growing with us. From coast to coast, we are always looking for new supplier partners who can help us meet our growth needs in support of our business expansion.
SB: The recent announcement of 10 straight years as being named the value leader in the Grocery Benchmark Study was impressive, but also in that study, it said that Aldi's exclusive store brand products were named "most preferred," discuss the importance of value and quality, how is that paramount to this growth trajectory?
JH: Customers have always counted on us for our low prices, and we’re thrilled to also be recognized as the nation’s most preferred private label brand. We find that many new customers who try Aldi products for the first time end up being lifelong loyalists of our brands. And as much as we are focused on keeping prices low, we will always have an unwavering commitment to quality.
SB:Lastly, what are you looking for from supplier partners in the private brand industry to help you along this growth path, any words of encouragement, key trends to look at going forward?
JH: Our suppliers play a critical role in the success of our organization. As we continue our relationships with our current supply base, and work to bring new suppliers into our business, our suppliers are true partners in terms of developing innovative products, removing costs from the supply chain, and keeping a consistent focus on quality to ensure our products always deliver the experience our customers expect. We partner with some of the best suppliers in the industry, who consistently deliver us industry-leading service. We are grateful to all of our partners, new and tenured, who have weathered these past few months of global uncertainty by our side with excellence.