Discount Grocer Aldi Launches a 'Corner Store' Format

The design aims to move the traditional model to a fresh local format for urban settings.

ESSEN, Germany — Discount grocer Aldi unveiled the first Aldi Corner Store, a new local, art-infused, urban-oriented small format store.

The German-based operator tapped global design firm Landini Associates for a design that aims to move the traditional Aldi model to a fresh local format for urban settings. Created in close collaboration with the retailer's executives, the format builds on the success of Project Fresh, Landini Associates' nationwide redesign of Aldi Australia's large stores, reported Convenience Store News sister publication Progressive Grocer.

"Aldi are proud to present an elevated, never-before-seen, convenience-driven store format that is both uniquely different and recognizably Aldi," said Huw Longman, director of the Aldi Corner Store project. "The new Corner Store layout is aligned to the needs of a local, largely walk-in customer base, with simple navigation, self-checkouts, fresh offerings, quality products and everyday low prices, with a nostalgic neighborhood feel."

Emphasizing urban locations, the project focuses on refurbishing existing buildings vs. constructing new properties. The Aldi Corner Stores continues to concentrate on its core items — grocery and fresh produce — which are now supplemented by a growing assortment of ready-to-go meals, convenience-based products, and a new takeout coffee and artisanal bakery offering. Additionally, the banner's well-known Special Buys are a major feature at the Aldi Corner Store.

The design from Landini Associates highlights Aldi's dedication to corporate responsibility. To evoke a consistent brand atmosphere and customer experience, each Aldi Corner Store will feature sustainable materials such as pale brick, white tiles, blockwork, terrazzo, black steel and galvanized steel mesh, timber palettes, oak and walnut, Progressive Grocer reported.

Opposed to featuring neighborhood photographs or signs describing each location, the Aldi Corner Store design celebrates its communities through strategic local art partnerships. For the inaugural store, located at 99 Mount St. in north Sydney, Australia, local artist Joel Moore was commissioned to decorate both the interior and façade.

"We wanted to create a solution that is both a design signature and memorably Aldi, but also something truly different," explained Mark Landini, creative director of Landini Associates. "We have ensured that each Aldi Corner Store will be recognizable and distinct, both in the design parameters and in this first store by commissioning a unique artwork."

When asked by Progressive Grocer about the likelihood that a similar format will come to the United States, a company spokeswoman told the news outlet, "The Aldi Corner Store was commissioned by Australia for Australia, but local smaller formats are becoming increasingly important globally. America is run separately from the other regions [at Aldi]; however, Australia has had a growing influence on the evolving design in other markets."

Progressive Grocer and Convenience Store News are properties of EnsembleIQ.

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