Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2014

Aldi: The Dark Horse Discounter

by Eric J. Van den Steen and David Lane


In 2013, Aldi—the world’s 8th largest retailer—planned to accelerate its U.S. expansion. Aldi was a German-based hard discounter that sold a limited assortment of private-label groceries and household items in barebones stores. Despite its presence with 1200 stores in 32 states, Aldi was still relatively unknown in the U.S. But it was often cited as one of the reasons for Walmart’s exit from Germany. Could it compete with Wal-Mart in the U.S., Wal-Mart’s home market?


Van den Steen, Eric J., and David Lane. "Aldi: The Dark Horse Discounter." Harvard Business School Case 714-474, February 2014.