German low cost supermarket chain chooses Algarve

LOW COST supermarket group Aldi is planning to open two of its ‘hard discount’ stores in the Algarve in March next year. Recruitment of staff for the German firm’s new supermarkets is already underway, despite the fact that the shops have not yet been built. The group is selecting people to operate the checkouts as well as for management positions.

The recruitment process will be completed by the end of the year and training, which will take place in Spain, will follow in January. Despite the fact that interviews are already being held, the candidates applying for the vacancies don’t yet know where exactly they will be working.

Aldi supermarkets are known for offering the lowest prices in the market, only possible due to the group’s low overheads policy. For example, each supermarket will only have eight checkout operators, two assistant managers and a manager. The stocking of the shelves and warehouse management is carried out by the same employees who operate the tills and by the management team.

Aldi has a multi-tasking philosophy, meaning that the staff will not be limited to one particular role, but will be expected to share the workload, taking a turn at every task that needs to be performed at the stores. Staff benefit from this approach as, apparently, the wages are higher than those paid by other similar companies.

The holding company behind the Aldi brand is the eighth biggest food distributor in the world and operates an aggressive pricing policy, along the same lines as Lidl and Plus. The group wants to enter the Portuguese market and has chosen the Algarve as a starting point for its investment plans.

Stores for Albufeira and Tavira

It is believed that the first two stores will be located in Tavira and Albufeira and plans have already been approved by the respective câmaras. However, the commercial licences have not yet been issued by the Ministry of Economy.

Construction of the Tavira supermarket is the most advanced, with building work already in progress on the old Salvador Caetano site at the entrance to the city, alongside the EN125 and just 500 metres from a Lidl supermarket. In Albufeira, the German group asked for permission to build a store in the centre of town, but it was refused. Meanwhile, a request to build warehouses in the Guia area has been approved.

It has been reported that the group intends to open further stores in the Algarve next year. By May, Aldi hopes to bring its total to five outlets, building supermarkets in Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos.

If the company’s track record at home is anything to go by – Aldi is the market leader in Germany – this is welcome investment news for the region and for shoppers, who will receive an opportunity to enjoy very low prices.