The Big Changes You'll See At Aldi In 2024

Discount grocer Aldi is known for many things, but at the top of the list its cheap prices for groceries. The chain's no-frills business approach of not carrying name-brand products and relying on minimal staffing has made its stores unique and worth seeking out for money-savvy shoppers. However, like many other supermarket chains, Aldi has made many substantial changes over the years — including dropping its everyday low prices even lower.

Amid the turbulent economy, the company slashed its prices on more than 250 items in 2023, giving customers access to more than $60 million in savings, according to the grocery brand. Whether or not shoppers will rake in additional savings in 2024 remains to be seen, but Aldi regulars can still bank on seeing a few exciting changes this year – perhaps most notably, a lack of plastic shopping bags. 

On a mission to embrace more sustainable practices, Aldi has become the first U.S. retailer to eliminate the use of plastic bags in all stores, says CEO Jason Hart. This means that shoppers will have to bring their own grocery totes or purchase some of Aldi's reusable bags the next time they shop. That's not all: Customers can also expect to see other big changes this year, from self-checkout stands to new locations opening across America.

Aldi will continue to expand in the U.S.

Aldi has come a long way from its early beginnings in post-war Germany. After taking over their mother's food store in 1948, brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht expanded their business, opening over 100 locations by 1955. Today, the supermarket chain, which holds the distinction of being "the world's first discount grocery store," operates more than 10,000 stores around the world. 

After opening its first U.S. location in 1976, Aldi has built 2,300 stores in America, making it one of the fastest-growing grocery retailers in the nation. And it's only getting bigger. After opening 120 new stores in 2023, Aldi plans to expand even further with its acquisition of the Southeastern Grocers company, which is expected to be finalized early this year. The merger will include about 400 locations of Winn-Dixie stores and Harveys Supermarkets, primarily in the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. 

The discount grocery chain plans to convert some of the locations into the Aldi format, while others will continue to be operated as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets. Budget-conscious shoppers in these states should be sure to research and find out when they can get their hands on some Aldi goods.

Aldi will launch more self-checkouts nationwide

While known for its speedy checkout — thanks, in large part, to its lightning-fast cashiers — Aldi has notably never provided self-checkout machines. It's true that express lanes aren't always faster, but Aldi shoppers will now have more choices for checking out their items this year, in the form of all-new self-checkout kiosks.

Aldi began piloting self-checkout machines in 2019 in the U.K. and then in the U.S. in 2021, testing out the kiosks in Ohio. In 2023, when urged by a shopper on X (formerly Twitter) to install more self-checkout machines, Aldi's official account responded: "While we can't confirm if your specific store will receive self-checkout, ALDI is rolling out the offering to new stores every week."

And, in the coming year, customers may not even have to check out their items at all. Embracing tech even further, Aldi has debuted its first fully automated checkout system, called "Aldi Go,"  in Aurora, Illinois, which is located just outside of Chicago. Launched in partnership with tech startup Grabango, the checkout-free system relies on cameras and sensors — as well as coordination with a mobile app on customers' phones — to keep track of customers' items as they shop, so they don't even have to manually scan their items before leaving the store. With these exciting concepts in wait, Aldi loyalists should have plenty to look forward to every time they shop in 2024.