Aldi gets physical in China

Asia .
Aldi gets physical in China

Aldi has become the latest overseas supermarket operator to open stores in China but the German company faces a battle to win over customers in a fragmented market in which foreign operators have traditionally struggled. Hundreds of people lined in Shanghai on Friday to enter one of the two Aldi outlets opening in the city. On sale were European wine and beer from the company’s own brands plus more local offerings, such as chicken feet and salted duck eggs. 

“We came here for the German products and the cheap beer,” said Zhou Youhua, a retired doctor who was munching on a hot dog while waiting to pay for her basket of muesli, noodles and steamed dumplings filled with German sausage and sauerkraut. 

Foreign supermarkets have often struggled in China’s fast-growing grocery sector. Britain’s Tesco and Spain’s Dia abandoned operations in the country and Germany’s Metro is selling its China unit. Walmart and Carrefour have struggled to gain more than a single-digit market share. 

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