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Aldi Nord and Süd are now going their separate ways again

Two steps forward, one step back: the discounter Aldi has been trying out closer cooperation between its two sisters, Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord, for a number of years.

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Aldi Nord and Süd are now going their separate ways again

Two steps forward, one step back: the discounter Aldi has been trying out closer cooperation between its two sisters, Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord, for a number of years. The retail chains, which were split into two separate companies by the brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1961, unified the names of their own brands three years ago, for example. Most recently, they also appeared with joint image advertising. But that will be the end of the new year.

From January, the two discounters will have different priorities in separate campaigns. According to Aldi, this is based on a disagreement about the best focus for advertising after the inflationary shock of the past few months. The discounters have regained market share from supermarkets such as Edeka and Rewe due to the sharp rise in food prices in 2022.

In the new, independent campaign, Aldi Nord is therefore again focusing on the price for the first time. "You can afford it with Aldi," is the slogan, which is also used in television spots. "With loud price communication at the beginning of the year, we want to make it clear that our customers can still rely on quality at the best possible price in 2023," explains Marketing Director Gianfranco Brunetti. Recently popular topics such as sustainability and organic are behind the "Original Aldi price" in the campaign from the Essen Aldi-Nord headquarters.

Aldi Süd will proceed differently. As in the previous year, the retailer wants to use the "Veganuary" for a central campaign on the variety of offers, according to the Mülheim headquarters. The made-up word describes the campaign by vegan activists who want to encourage people to give up animal products for a month. The slogan of Aldi Süd is accordingly: "Conscious nutrition - just without the hype." The campaign by the Antoni agency is to run for six weeks, including on the radio and in the cinema. Only then does Aldi Süd want to focus more on the price, says a spokeswoman on request.

It gets a little more complicated because Aldi Nord is launching another additional campaign of its own in the first four weeks of the year, designed by the Accenture Song agency. Aldi Nord wants to reach younger customers under the slogan "Consciously Price-Conscious" - and also with a reference to the "Veganuary". This advertising should run for four weeks – mainly digitally, according to the Aldi Nord headquarters in Essen.

According to the discounters, the reason for the future polyphony is that the managers of Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord could not once again agree on a uniform thrust of a large joint campaign. Therefore, the focus is now different in separate advertising campaigns.

The two Aldi chains are thus dividing their advertising, which most recently brought together the two elements of “price” and “variety”, which are still important, in common motifs and spots. The “Just the right thing for every moment” campaign was launched in 2021. The Christmas advertising 2022 also came from both of them together.

In general, the coordination of the advertising statements between the headquarters in Essen and Mülheim is still young. In the past, the two Aldi chains hardly ever got in each other's way when it came to advertising - after all, they only advertised with printed brochures in their respective regions for customers. It was not about the image, but about prices and special items.

Only since 2016 have they also been advertising on television, on the radio, on billboards and increasingly online. At that time, both started their first joint image campaign. The two marketing departments had agreed on the topic of "simplicity" to refresh the Aldi discount brand. The push was also triggered by pressure from competitors: Rewe, Edeka and Lidl also increasingly polished their image on television. But even then there were minor differences: Aldi Nord was initially not involved in activities on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, which Aldi Süd was driving alone.

Since this first joint appearance with both Aldi logos as the sender, there have been repeated signs that both retailers are moving closer together. In fact, the uniform private labels are a visible sign that purchasing is achieving economies of scale together. In addition, both started a joint online shop. This even led to speculation that both dealers could merge. So far, however, it doesn't look like it will. Both headquarters continue to have their own large purchasing departments.

Because there remain differences in the concept, which are also evident in the current case. Aldi Nord is considered to be more hesitant when it comes to high-quality shop fittings. The focus on the low price in its advertising fits in with this. The German boss of Aldi Süd, Stefan Kopp, on the other hand, announced in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG in December that a cooperation with the organic association Naturland would start in 2023 - one more reason to emphasize conscious nutrition as a topic.

However, the separate advertising is also likely to have disadvantages: both chains have to pay for the design of their respective campaigns alone. In addition, many consumers are likely to see advertising messages from both Aldi parts in the coming weeks - and thus experience a less consistent brand image.

The Aldi empire is not only divided regionally in Germany, but also internationally. The two offshoots have divided the world between themselves. For example, Aldi Süd is expanding in Great Britain, Australia and the USA. Aldi Nord, on the other hand, serves Poland, the Benelux countries, Spain and France, for example. Last year, however, Aldi Nord announced that it was leaving a country for the first time: the stores in Denmark were being sold to a local competitor.

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