Aldi Nord in Poland has introduced traditional German Christmas sweets into its promotional areas. The mesh wire tables reserved for food promotions are currently housing almost a dozen SKUs of seasonal German-made candies, including Dominosteine, chocolate lollipops in the shape of Santa Clause and several items made of marzipan.
Aldi rings in the Christmas season, at least from a German perspective. The assortment of chocolate-covered sweets offered in bordeaux-coloured packaging is the same as the retailer has offered in its German stores for the last thirty years. However, a quick look at the calendar explains why the sight does not trigger a feeling of Christmas– it is still three months to go until Christmas Eve! Has Aldi run out of marketing topics, or is the retailer prioritising a volume strategy that originates in its home market?
The upcoming festivities to mark All Saints’ Day at the beginning of November is one of the most important Polish family holidays. Perhaps it does not provide adequate scope and volume for the retailer to justify secondary placements as it does at big box operators like Tesco and Auchan. A closer look at the shelf layout confirms this: the standard range of grave candles, up until now taking up one unit, has been extended to two.
Consequently, Aldi sticks to its basic business model. In the absence of marketable seasonal activity – with the in-out assortment always bearing the risk of high residuals – it pushes its German assortment and starts ‘Aldi X-mas’ at the same time as in its home country. This push strategy has been highly successful for items such as advent calendars and stollen, which are now popular amongst many Polish consumers, despite being virtually unheard of five years ago. Who knows, maybe the ‘Marzipankartoffel’ will be the next item finding its way into Polish Christmas customs?