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Investigation into consumer buying behaviour with regards to branded and own-label food products at an aldi store

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In the UK, for nearly two thirds of consumers, own-label is an important reason to shop in a particular store. Value for money, availability and the breadth of products on offer are the key factors attracting customers to own label products.

(Mintel Report, 2007).

Own-label brands give consumers the opportunity to find something new at a supermarket, while branded is the same whichever store a consumer buys from. Consumers are increasingly careful about their grocery shop, using forward planning and budgeting to control the amount they spend. Shopping habits have become more price-focused with rising numbers of consumers looking for the lowest prices and special offers. Retail brands do not yet command the same degree of brand loyalty that the big brand names do, even though many consumers do agree that taste and quality are often on a par.

(Mintel Report, 2008).

According to Mintel report (2006) when it comes to choosing brands over own-label products, familiarity and trust are important criteria. Europe is the most developed region of the world for own label groceries and in Europe, own label is growing faster than manufacturer's brands. Own-label brands and ranges can span all categories, something manufacturers' brands cannot do. This presence builds trust and strengthens own-label branding. Retailers are able to suppress prices below competitors'. The scale and flexibility of own-label production can also lead to a quick response to changing consumer needs and occasions. Consumer buying behaviour has remarkably influenced by the current credit crunch/recession. (Mintel Report, 2006)

The UK is also experiencing a large increase in immigration. In October 2005, National Statistics reported that a record 582,000 people came to live in the UK from elsewhere in the world. It also predicted that the population might increase by up to 7.2 million over the next 25 years, with more than half the rise being attributed to immigration. This will boost overall demand for all retail goods. Own label or private brand can be hard to establish and costly to stock and promote. However, they also yield higher profit margins for the reseller. And they give resellers exclusive products that cannot be bought from competitors, resulting in greater store traffic and loyalty.

(Mintel Report, 2006)

The study is an investigation in to the current issues concerned with consumer buying behaviour for branded and own-label food. Consumer buying attitude has been greatly influenced by the current credit crunch and nine out of ten consumers thinking their financial situation has got worse over the last 12 months.

(Mintel Report, 2008)

This study will investigate the factors that influence buying behaviour of consumers shopping at an ALDI store. Factors such as price, quality of products, family size, culture, particular food product, financial background, gender and different age groups of consumers will be considered. Two thirds of consumers are looking out for deals/promotions, over half only buy what they need and just under a third go to discounters or cook from scratch more often. (Mintel Report, 2008).

According to Foley (2008) ALDI is a rapidly grown discount supermarket and growing rapidly, pulling in thousands of new customers trying to save a few pounds on their weekly shop. ALDI's big boast is that it carries a limited range i.e. just over 1000 products (and only 15 brand names) compared with the 25,000 product lines in a supermarket such as Tesco, but buys in huge numbers and gets top quality. ALDI rigorously controls costs and their stores are all basic. There is no fancy flooring or fixtures. The lighting is definitely not designed to enhance the products. "You don't take the shop home, only the food”. It is the same product but it doesn't cost more because of its decoration. In order to save money; over four in ten consumers buy more own-label value lines, buy own-label products more often or have switched to cheaper brands. (Foley, 2008).

Individuals aged between 15-34 shows the greatest growth in the tendency to look for the lowest prices. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of people over 65 is projected to increase by 10.1%, increasing their proportion of the population as a whole from 21.6% to 23.4%. This obviously means that the proportion of the population who are retired, on fixed incomes, and, therefore, managing on tighter budgets will increase, this should maintain interest in lower-cost, own-brand goods. Furthermore this research will also focus on quality of branded and own-label food products from a consumer perspective.

Assumptions that an own label is a 'cheap' version of the manufacturer brand; is not evident. The gap in quality that was evident over a decade ago has been reduced in recent years. This is supported by Chaney, 2004 who concluded that every sale places the retailers' highly valued name at risk and this has meant that there is increasingly little difference in the quality level of own brands compared to manufacturers' brands. (Chaney, 2004).

1.1 Aims and Objectives

1.1.1 Aims

The study aims to investigate consumer buying behaviour with regards to branded and own-label food products using ALDI as a case study.

1.1.2 Objectives

1. To carry out a literature review on consumer behaviour with regards to purchasing food and the current issues concerned with branded and own-label products.

2. By use of a case-study and questionnaire determine consumer behaviour with regards to branded and own label food products.

3. To compare and contrast the quality of own label and branded foods from a consumer perspective.

4. To analyze the primary data collected in the light of the secondary data in order to identify the key issues that influence consumer behaviour and the purchasing of own-label and branded food products.



2.1 Introduction

The aim of the literature review is to evaluate critically current data from research relevant to the aims and objectives of the project and evaluate the findings.

2.2 Evaluate critically the UK food retail market

Seth and Randall (1999) stated that supermarkets across the developed world have been a key feature of the second half of the twentieth century, and the UK supermarket in its own right has, and in a world context, has been both important and distinctive. The UK is today often seen as the world's most innovative retail market. Presentation and range, 06 goods including adventurous new chilled food and meal solutions are product fields that the rest of the world is still discovering; this has lead to researches such as, suggesting that it is difficult to fault UK sourcing energies or innovative drive. Next there is own-label. This plays an increasingly important and developmental role in this respect. They also mentioned that supermarket's activities have affected our lives and changed them as substantially as probably any other single influence. Supermarkets are universal, their customers drawn from all elements in society, from richest to poorest. It has been calculated that today the average British citizen will spend two years of their life or 3 percent of a normal waking life inside the doors of a supermarket.

According to Embargo (1996), the average UK household spends over £50 per week on food. Between us this amounts to 43 billion spent throughout the year. This is about 12 percent of total consumer expenditure, and a massive 85 per cent of this is spent in supermarkets. Embargo (1996) also stated that the British supermarkets are a 20th-century invention, offering the shopper unprecedented variety and convenience. From humble beginnings as a stall in Leeds or as West End Dairy, they have grown to dominate food retailing. Over 80 per cent of consumers regularly shop in supermarkets for food and basic household goods.

According to Embargo (1996), one of the most significant trends in supermarket retailing is the growth in own-label sales relative to branded products. Own-label lines, sold under the supermarket's name, have become an effective way for the big stores to increase profits and build customer loyalty. Own-brand options are available for the majority of foods, offering consumers a wider choice of goods than ever before.

(Embargo, 1996)

According to Verdict Research (UK Food & Grocery Retailers 2009 (April, 2009), in 2008 food and grocery specialists defied wider retail market gloom, increasing their combined sales by 5.0% to £124.1bn. Grocers performed especially well with sales ahead by 5.6% their strongest growth since 2001.

Food price inflation has driven market growth. Higher energy costs, a series of crop failures and growing food demand from China pushed UK food & grocery inflation up to 6.4%. Even price-keen grocers experienced their highest rate of inflation in 17 years at 4.7%. (Verdict Research, April 2009)

According to verdict Research, April 2009) the credit crunch and subsequent recession, plus inflation have had a profound impact on consumer behaviour and the wider dynamics of grocery retailing. Price, or more specifically value, now sits firmly at the top of the consumer agenda. Customers are searching for the best prices and increasingly switching to own label or alternative brands. (Verdict Research, April 2009)

According to Verdict research i.e. UK Retail Futures 2013 (April 2009), though food & grocery will significantly outperform the wider retail market, the recession is resulting in an unprecedented change in consumer behaviour. The discounters are enjoying impressive growth, while the major grocers focus on enhancing value credentials, leading to what we believe will be long-lasting changes to the grocery market.

Verdict believes two key drivers will inhibit growth in food & grocery over the next five years. Firstly, with consumers more cautious and trading down, value growth will slow. Secondly, grocers will find it tougher to open new stores especially superstores, with space and volume growth easing as a consequence.

(Verdict Research Retail futures, April 2009)

Grocers are focusing more effort on developing their own-brand offers, either through lower prices or through the introduction of new ranges to build scale, increase choice, promote value credentials and boost margins.

(Verdict Research Retail futures, April 2009)

2.3 Evaluate critically Factors that affect UK food retail market

According to Kathawala (1989), quality may mean different things to different people, for instance, Juran defines quality as “fitness for use” while Crosby defines it as “conformance to requirements”. Their definitions imply a quality standard equated to that of satisfying the customers' demand. Deming defines quality as “surpassing customer's needs and expectations throughout the life of the product”. Feigenbaum indicated the ever-changing and elusive nature of quality when he defined it as “a moving target”. Kathawala (1989) mentioned, a comprehensive definition of quality would include all four aspects,

“Conformance to requirements, surpassing customers' needs and expectations throughout the life of the product, quality is a moving target, quality is fitness for use”.

(Kathawala, 1989).

Armstrong and Kotler (2007) stated that, quality has a direct impact on product or service performance; it is closely linked to customer value and satisfaction. He claimed, in the narrowest sense, quality can be defined as “freedom from defects”. But most customer-centered companies go beyond this narrow definition. Instead, they define quality in terms of creating customer value and satisfaction. According to Armstrong and kotler, (2007) The American Society for Quality defines quality as the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied customer needs. Similarly, Siemens defines quality this way: “Quality is when our customer comes back and our products don't”.

(Armstrong and Kotler, 2007).

According to Solomon (1996), consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction is determined by the overall feelings, or attitude, a person has about a product after it has been purchased. Solomon (1996) also mentioned that, product quality affects customer satisfaction, which in turn, results in increased profitability among firms who provide quality products. Consequently Quality is more than a marketing buzzword. Customers want quality and value. Especially because of foreign competition, claims of product quality have become strategically crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage. Consumers use a number of cues to infer quality, including brand name, price and even their own estimates of how much money has been put into a new product's advertising campaign.

Solomon (1996) mentioned that, one way to define quality is to establish uniform standards to which products from around the world must conform. This is the intent of the International Standards Organization. Seth and Randall (2000) stated that, the supermarkets know that they rely absolutely on their customer's confidence in the safety of the food they buy. They work hard to deserve that confidence, and their record shows that they do.

According to Smith (1997) “Quality is about listening to our customers and delivering more than they expect. It's about paying attention to the smallest details and getting it right first time, every time. Most important, quality is a continuous process that involves every employee. By making small improvements every day, we can make real progress and deliver increasingly higher levels of customer satisfaction. Quality allows us to measure and compare our performance against the best in class. It sets the standards for our support services and enables us to focus training and development on the most important areas”.

According to Solomon (1996), “Perception is the process by which physical sensations, such as sights, sound, and smells, are selected, organized, and interpreted. The eventual interpretation of a stimulus allows it to be assigned meaning. A perceptual map is a widely used marketing tool that evaluates the relative standing of competing brands along relevant dimensions”. (Solomon, 1996) As a result consumers have a particular perception of a particular product, they expect and know what to expect from branded. Therefore the non-branded product must as far as possible meet these perceptions if it is to compete with the branded product. A cheaper product may compensate for some variation but the own brand product must be recognisable by the consumer.

Almost every business has a trading name, from the smallest market trader to the largest multi-national corporation. Only a minority of those businesses however, have what could be classed as a ‘brand' or a ‘brand name'. Branding is a word commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people.

Armstrong and Kotler (2007) stated that, “a brand is a name or symbol that is commonly known to identify a company or its products and separate them from the competition”. They go on to say a well-known brand is generally regarded as one that people will recognise, often even if they do not know about the company or its products/services. These are usually the businesses name or the name of a product, although it can also include the name of a feature or style of a product. The overall ‘branding' of a company or product can also stretch to a logo, symbol, or even design features (E.g.: Regularly used colours or layouts, such as red and white for Coca Cola.) that identify the company or its products/services. (Armstrong and Kotler, 2007).

For example: The Nike brand name is known throughout the world, people can identify the name and logo even if they have never bought any of their products. However, not only is the company name a brand, but the logo (The ‘tick' symbol) is also a strong piece of branding in its own right. The majority of people that are aware of the company can also identify it (or its products) from this symbol alone.

The clothing and running shoe company Adidas is well known for using three stripes on its range of products. This design feature branding allows people to identify their products, even if the Adidas brand name and logo is not present.

(Armstrong and Kotler, 2007).

2.4 Strengths and weaknesses of own-label food and drink.



Own-label brands and ranges can span all categories, something manufacturers' brands cannot do. This presence builds trust and strengthens own-label branding.

Own-label is still associated with low price for most consumers. The quality is often deemed to be lower, even if this is not the case.

Retailers are able to suppress prices to just below a competitor. The scale and flexibility of own-label production can also lead to a quick response to changing consumer needs and occasions.

Own-label wine and beer is still not sexy compared with well-known brands, although perceptions are changing as consumers show a growing interest in the category.

Sub-brands and ranges can increase possibilities for innovation, particularly in convenience food through differentiation (ie healthy/premium/ kids/ value ready meals). They can use this halo effect to gain instant recognition for new sub-brands and varieties.

Own-label does not yet have strong associations with trust compared to well-known brands, particularly among older consumers.

Own-label gives consumers the opportunity to find something new at a supermarket while branded are the same whichever store a consumer buys from. The flip side is of course that consumers may soon get bored if the own-label to brand ratio increases further.

Own-label can lose out to brand excitement e.g. innovation in probiotics by the big manufacturers has dominated NPD in the yogurt category, at the expense of own-label.

Retailers are poised in 2006/7 to consolidate links with sustainable production (Fair-trade, local supply etc). This may strengthen the image of own-label branding as trusted and high quality, and encourage co-branding.

The impact of brand innovation can leave own-label out in the cold e.g. in rice, own-label has lost value as consumers turn to more convenient microwaveable formats. It can lead to consumer loyalty very quickly (e.g. Innocent smoothies) which can be difficult for own-label to reverse.

Strengths in chilled and fresh produce.

Despite the extent of innovation and investment in own-label, growth has not been huge (except in some individual sub-brands e.g. premium). This reflects how there is really very little room for growth in the UK grocery market.

Ability to give products good POS promotion and prominence. Online shopping channels allow them to market own-label even more effectively.

Own-label tends to be second to market.

Own-label has not only to compete with alternative brands but also other retailers who compete heavily on price.

Table 1: Strengths and weaknesses of own-label food and drink, as stated by Mintel, (2006).

According to Business Services (2009), the main benefit of branding is that customers are much more likely to remember a business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep a company image in the mind of potential customers. If a business sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising a brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. Even if the customer is not aware of selling of particular product, if they trust that brand, they are likely to trust unfamiliar products. If a customer is happy with your products or services, a brand helps to build customer loyalty across the business. For example Marks and Spencer is recognised by consumers as offering a specified standard of quality they therefore assume if they buy any food product from Marks and Spencer the product will be of the same quality standard. (Business Services, 2009).

A strong brand will project an image of a large and established business to potential customers. People usually associate branding with larger businesses that have the money to spend on advertising and promotion. The creation of effective branding can make business appear to be much bigger than it really is. An image of size and establishment can be especially important when a customer wants reassurance that particular brand will still be around in a few years time. (Business Services, 2009).

A strong brand projects an image of quality in the business; many people see the brand as a part of a product or service that helps to show its quality and value. According to Business Services (2009), if you show a person two identical products, only one of which is branded, they will almost always believe the branded item is higher quality. Over time the image of quality of an effective branding business will usually go up. Of course, branding cannot replace good quality, and bad publicity will damage a brand (and businesses image), especially if it continues over a long period of time.

For example: The Sunny Delight drinks brand was one of the biggest in the UK just a year after its launch. However, constant bad publicity about the quality of the product has severely damaged the image of the brand, and sales have dropped for each of the past several years. (Business Services, 2009).

A strong brand creates an image of an established business that has been around for long enough to become well known. A branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced in their products or services, and will generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business. Most people will believe that a business would be hesitant to put their brand name on something that was of poor quality.

(Business Services, 2009).

If a business has a strong brand, it allows you to link together several different products or ranges. A brand name can be used on every product or service a company sell, meaning that customers for one product will be more likely to buy another product of same brand.

For Example: Sony sells televisions, music equipment, consoles, camcorders, DVD players, video players, and etc all under the Sony brand name. Creation of separate brand names for product ranges allowing people to see brand name, and then use the range brand name to work out what they wish to buy. For Example: Cadbury's makes a range of confectionary under many different sub-brand names such as Dairy Milk, Boost, Flake, and Time Out. All of these are sold under the product brand, but all feature the Cadbury's brand name on the packaging. (Business Services, 2009).

A strong brand is memorable, but people still need to be exposed to it, this often requires a lot of advertising and PR over a long period of time, which can be very costly. There are also costs involved with the creating of a brand image or logo (Paying for a designer, printing new letterheads/business cards etc.), and although most of these are only one off costs, they are still relatively large for most small businesses. The exposure of a brand can be left to word of mouth, this will save money, but will also greatly slow down the exposure that the brand receives. (Armstrong and Kotler, 2007).

One of the main problems with many branded businesses is that they lose their personal image. The ability to deal on a personal basis with customers is one of the biggest advantages small business have, and poorly designed branding could give customers the impression that a business is losing its personal touch. (Business Services, 2009).

Every brand has a certain image to potential customers, and part of that image is about what products or services a company sell. If a company is known for selling just one product and want to sell another product, will that company be able to do so effectively? If a company sell computers, would that brand name be suitable for selling vacuum cleaners? If a brand is focused too strongly on one product, it can limit the ability to sell other products. (Armstrong and Kotler, 2007).

The process of creating a brand will usually take a long period of time. As well as creating a brand and updating your signs and equipment (e.g. stationary, vehicles etc), it need to expose to potential customers. It is commonly shown that people need to see an advert at least three times before they absorb it, which means that a company will need to advertise and promote the brand for a considerable amount of time before it will become well known. (Business Services, 2009).

The continuing development of own-label brands can be largely attributed to ownership concentration in the retailing industry by multiples such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda. The two leading supermarkets, Tesco and Sainsbury's have exploited this branding strategy to the extent that 50 percent of their sales are their own-label products. The supermarkets are committing considerable finances to their own-labels to increase their penetration. (Chaney, 2004).

In marketing own-label brands the retailers have several advantages over manufacturer brands. Own-label brands can access the prime shelves as this space is controlled by the retailer. Manufacturer brands generally have to pay for the privilege of displaying and merchandising their goods. Furthermore, retailers, unlike the manufacturers, have knowledge of competitors' sales figures and promotions. (Chaney, 2004).

2.5 Evaluate literature that relating to consumer behaviour

According to Colla (2003), discount food retailing has experienced considerable expansion over the last ten years and currently occupies an important position in the European retail industry.

According to Shine et al (1997), Consumers have become increasingly interested in nutritional issues over recent years. This interest in nutrition is fuelled by a number of factors including lifestyle, ageing population, dietary and safety concerns. The consumer is influenced by various sources of information such as the family/household, social network, “popular media”, and government dietary guidelines

Shine et al (1997) also stated that majority of consumers consider diet to be a very important component of their lifestyles and regard nutrition as a positive attribute of food products. Increasing consumer interest in nutrition has led to an increased interest in nutrition labelling. Nutrition labelling was found to have an impact on consumer purchase decisions. Of those consumers who read nutritional labels, 81 per cent use them in their evaluation of food products.

According to Baltas (2001), Nutrition labelling of food products has received considerable attention in the marketing literature due to increasing consumer interest in health and diet issues. He also stated, nutrition labelling of food products is intended to enable informed consumer choices and stimulate the consumption and production of healthful products. The effectiveness of nutrition labelling depends also on the organisation and presentation of the information, implying the importance of regulatory issues.

Baltas (2001) stated that in the UK, more than 80 percent of surveyed individuals claim that they look at labels and that label information affects their purchase decision. Most consumers also use information on nutrition labels the first time they purchase a product and this then becomes a source of new knowledge they can draw on in subsequent purchases. Baltas (2001) also stated nutritional attributes are, of course, only a subset of objective and perceived characteristics such as price, taste and brand name determining consumer preferences. Their relative importance for the determination of consumption patterns may vary not only over people, but also across product categories and purchase occasions.

According to Mintel, (Food Packaging UK, 2008) the most important consideration for consumers is that the packaging to compost is not always realistic.

Mintel also stated, Four in five shoppers agreed that the food inside was not accurately depicted on the packaging. Nearly as many confirmed that it was sometimes hard to tell how much food was inside the packaging. (Mintel, Food Packaging UK, 2008).

Shoppers at discounters; Morrison's and the Co-op found it harder to tell the quantity of food from the packaging it looks as though these supermarkets could be more accurate in their own-label packaging. Consumers should be able to take a good look at the food item they are buying to get an idea what it looks like and how much it contains.

(Mintel, Food Packaging UK, 2008).

According to Mintel (2006), significant differences are evident between the attitudes of men and women towards food packaging. Almost two thirds of women, compared to just over half of men, say that labelling is important when deciding what to buy. Women's role as the key grocery purchaser in many households has removed the need for men to study labels more carefully when choosing what to buy. However, growth of one-person households is expected to bring men's attitudes towards packaging more in line with those of women, as an increasing number of men take responsibility for doing their grocery shopping.

According to Mintel Report (Food Packaging, 2006), “Consumer attention on the environmental impact of packaging is set to continue, with further debate anticipated on the sustainability of different packaging systems and the environmental impact of reuse, recycling and incineration. Biodegradable plastics are already emerging and a gradual wider acceptance of the concept is expected, while the pressure to engineer improved performance whilst utilising less material resources will continue to exercise packaging manufacturers”.

According to Montgomery (2008), a study by the Co-operative Bank revealed that more than a third of people surveyed are making cuts in their weekly shopping spend. “We're typically spending £68.33 per adult on the weekly supermarket shop, compared with an average of £89.88 in 2007”. Montgomery stated that, it's no surprise that the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Asda are feeling the pinch. (Montgomery, 2008).

She also explain that the two key items to have dropped off our shopping lists are flowers and magazines, while next on the hit list is bottled water, expensive handwash and CDs, followed by wine, teeth whitening products, fabric conditioner, unsliced bread and nail polish. (Montgomery, 2008).

Emma Thomas, from the Co-operative Bank, commented: "People are being more conservative in their spending and are finding that cutting back on luxury items can help make a difference. Developing a household budget is essential to keep spending in check and to identify ways costs can be trimmed". (Montgomery, 2008).

“Thanks to the credit crunch, the budget supermarket chains, such as Cost-cutter, Aldi and Lidl, have been transformed from the haunt of cash-strapped students to the savvy housewife's favourite”. (Montgomery, 2008).

Montgomery (2008) stated that, sales at Cost-cutter (budget supermarket) have grown by 6.2% so far this year. Lidl came out as the cheapest supermarket after a recent survey carried out by “Which?” magazine. Montgomery (2008) explains that in a price comparison of a typical shopping basket, the publication found that Aldi was 3% more expensive, while Tesco was 21% more expensive than Lidl. (Montgomery, 2008).

According to Aldi.co.uk (2009), “At Aldi we're used to winning awards from within the retail industry for the quality and value of our products. But now we're extremely proud to say that we've been recognised by “Which?” magazine, the UK's famous consumer champion, which assesses companies and products 100% independently”.They picked Aldi as ‘Best Supermarket 2009' in recognition of the fact that they will continue to offer customers an unbeatable combination of exceptional quality at exceedingly low prices. (Aldi.co.uk, 2009),

Foley (2009) stated that, “Aldi's ethos of offering products of similar or better quality to market-leading brands, but at lower prices has long proved successful with consumers and has now been recognised by a trusted consumer guide. This award is a testament to the Aldi way - selling only one choice of product based on best in class and selling it in a straightforward way to keep prices consistently low”

Of course there is a price to pay for that low-cost weekly shop - and it's quality. The same Which? survey showed that Tesco performed better in terms of the percentage of the most important ingredient in some of the studied items. Its meat balls, for instance, had a meat content of 86%, but only 61% at Lidl. (Montgomery, 2008).

“The shopping experience is dire, but you get excellent quality at low prices”, as one shopper told Which? Or to put it another way, you pays your money, and you takes your choice.

According to Isark (2009), in 1948 Aldi opened its first store in the German town of Essen and now has over 8210 stores worldwide including over 382 in the UK. That's considerable growth by anybody's standards. From a business and shoppers' point of view they must be doing something right. In the UK, where they have been since 1990, they are known as one of the No-Frills supermarkets (Lidl & Netto are the other two) that sell food, drink and non-food products at rock bottom prices but offer no extras. Isark explains that, for instance, no free carrier bags are provided. There is no help to pack your shopping. No credit cards or cheques are accepted and there is no customer service counter. Their success is based entirely on value for money. (Isark, 2009).



3.1 Aims of Chapter

1 To discuss and justify the philosophy underlying the research methodology.

2 To justify and evaluate the methods used to collect primary data.

3 To justify and evaluate the sample used to collect primary data.

3.2 Philosophy

Saunders et al (2003) defines research as “something that people undertake in order to find out things in a systematic way, thereby increasing knowledge”. He draws out two important phrases from this definition: “systematic research” and “to find out things”. According to Saunders et al (2003), “systematic” means that a research “is based on logical relationships and not just beliefs”, while “to find out things” he suggest there are a multiplicity of purpose for a research which might include describing, explaining, understanding, criticising and analysing”.

Sekeran (2003) defines business research as an “organized, systematic, data based critical, objective, scientific inquiry or investigation into a specific problem undertaken with the purpose of finding answers or solutions to it”. He goes on to say that research deals with the “process of inquiry, investigation, examination, and experimentation which have to be conducted in a systematic, diligent, critical, objective and logical manner.

Saunders et al (2000), identifies two types of business research:

Basic research involves “expanding knowledge of organizational processes, developing universal principles and producing findings of significance value”.

Applied research involves “improving understanding of specific organizational problems, creating solutions and developing findings of practical relevance to stakeholders”.

According to Kumar (2005), a research study can be classified as descriptive, correlational, explanatory or exploratory depending on the objectives of such a research. Sekaran (2003) believes that the nature of a research study is highly dependent on the extent to which knowledge about the topic has advanced.

According to Hair et al (2003), this type of research is used when there is limited information on the issue or problem under study. They further believe that exploratory research is useful in detecting innovative production and management practices.

The type of research utilized in this study is the descriptive research. According to Kumar (2005), a descriptive research aims to systematically describe a situation, phenomenon or problem with the main purpose of describing what is prevalent in relation to the situation/problem that is being studied. Examining this research study from the viewpoint of its objectives, the descriptive design helps to provide a better understanding of the topic under study as it helps to describe what is prevalent regarding a group of people (consumers). Kumar (2005,pg.11) justifies this approach as he believes that the main aim of a descriptive research is “to describe what is prevalent regarding group of people, a community, a phenomenon, a situation, a program or an outcome”. However, he believes that in theory a research is normally classified into one of the categories described above, practically he suggest that an integration of the descriptive, correlational and explanatory research be utilized in writing a research report. Gray (2004) believes that the fact that a research method suitable for one research question may be unsuitable for another, and also it enables “data triangulation' which is referred to as the “act of collecting data over different times or from different sources (Gray 2004, pg.33). He further stated that all methods have their shortcomings and the use of multiple methods assist in balancing out potential weaknesses in each data collection methods.

According to Descombe (2003), qualitative research is greatly associated with “thick description” needed to describe a phenomenon or situation in order to provide sufficient knowledge to the reader. He further explains that quantitative research tends to be associated with words as the unit of analysis, small scale studies, holistic perspectives, emergent research design and it is greatly influenced by the role of the researcher in the construction of the data as there is little or no use of standardized research instruments in qualitative research. Kumar (2005) suggests that qualitative research is best suited for study designed primarily to describe a problem, phenomenon, situation or event whereby data is collected through the use of qualitative measurement scales and analysed without quantification. Hair et al (2003) explains that qualitative data is collected through unstructured interview in which such information is collected through recording words and sometimes pictures rather than assigning numbers. According to Gary (2004), he argues that qualitative approach to research studies have been criticised for its lack of methodological rigour, subjectivity, limited sample size or evidence. However, he states that “qualitative research can be used in testing hypotheses to determine if theoretical propositions can be supported by evidence” (pg.320).

Kumar (2005, pg.12) states that “research is classified as quantitative study if it involves quantifying the variation in a phenomenon, situation, problem or issue; if data is collected using predominantly quantitative variables; and if the analysis is directed towards confirming the magnitude of such variation”. According to descombe (2003), a quantitative research is likely to be associated with numbers as its unit of analysis, large scale studies, specific focus, researcher detachment and having a predetermined research design. Hair et al (2003) explains that quantitative data are recorded directly with numbers and therefore involves statistical analysis. However, Kumar (2005) argues that statistics should not be seen as an integral part of quantitative research but should be seen as a test required confirming or opposing the findings or conclusions that have been drawn on the basis of the understanding of the researcher. According to Hair et al (2003) the structure, representativeness and objectivity are seen as strengths as a quantitative study.

The research approach used in this study is a combination of the quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Acknowledging that qualitative and quantitative approaches both have their strengths and weaknesses a combination of both methods are important in achieving a good research study (Kumar 2005; Descombe 2003; Hair et al 2003).

Sekaran (2003, pg.219) defines primary data as “information obtained by the researcher on the variables of interest for the specific purpose of the study whilst secondary data refers to information gathered from sources already existing”. He goes on to say that examples of sources of primary data include individuals, focus groups, panels of respondents which have been particularly formulated by the researcher and from whom judgements or views may be sought concerning the research questions from time to time whilst sources of secondary data may include records, archives, government publications, industry analyses offered by media, web sites, internet, etc. Saunders et al (2003, pg.189) explains that primary data is vital in addressing research questions and meeting the objectives of research. They further define primary data as “data collected specifically for the research project being undertaken while secondary data is referred to as data used for a research project that were originally collected for some other purpose”.

Hair et al (2003, pg.72) explains that both types of data have their strengths and weaknesses and the advantages have to be weighed against their disadvantages. They further explain that two advantages of secondary data are:

Saving money

Saving time

However, two disadvantages of secondary data have also been proposed by them, which are:

Lack of fit issue, as they were collected for another purpose and;

Quality of data is more difficult to assess.

According to Hair et al (2003) a survey instrument is said to be reliable if it is consistent i.e. it generates the same results every time it is repeated. Gary (2004) explains that for a research instrument to be reliable it must give the same data when repeatedly measured provided the concept being measured remains constant.

According to Descombe (2003, pg.301) validity indicates that the “data” and the “methods” of a research study are “right”. He further explains that pertaining to research data, the concept of validity try to determine if the data reflects the truth and reality while in terms of the methodology used in obtaining the data, validity addresses the following questions: Are we measuring suitable indicators of the concept? And are we getting accurate results? However according to Gary (2004) a research instrument cannot be reliable if it is not valid.

3.3 Research Methods

According to Sanders et al (2003), a research strategy can be referred to as the overall approach adopted in a study. They further explain that the justification for adopting a particular research strategy should depend on the proposed research question and objectives as the particular strategy chosen should be appropriate for the chosen research questions and objectives. Yin (1994) cited Gray (2004) believes that the selection criteria for different research strategies greatly depend on the form of the research question.

Hair et al (2003,pg.130) describes a survey as a particular course of action intended to collect primary data from individuals, in which information sought could range from gender, age education, income, beliefs, opinions and attitudes to lifestyles. They further explain that surveys are mainly used in research studies which involves collecting information from a large sample of individuals in which the respondents are aware that information about their beliefs or behaviour are being collected, hence there is the likelihood that this may possibly influence their responses and economical, allows collection of standardized data, easy comparison and gives the researcher more control over the research process. According to Hair et al (2003) methods of collecting survey information is divided into two broad categories:

Self Completion;


The first category includes mail surveys and electronic survey, while the latter involve direct contact with the respondents which may include face to face interview, telephone and computer dialogue.

Hair et al (2003, pg 130) defines a questionnaire as “a predetermined set of questions designed to capture data from respondents which is scientifically developed to measure key characteristics of individuals, companies, events or phenomenon”. He also proposed that a questionnaire is mainly designed to obtain large quantities of data usually in numerical form. According to Saunders et al (2003) questionnaires are divided into two categories. These are:

Self administered - online questionnaire, postal questionnaire and delivery collection questionnaire.

Interviewer administered - telephone questionnaire and structured interview.

Gary (2004) describes open questions as that which has no definitive response as it allows the respondent the freedom to give answers in their own words while closed questions are ones, to which the respondents are asked to choose from given set of predetermined answers. He goes on to say that open questions generate rich responses but criticises it based on the fact that such data may be difficult to analyse. However, Descombe (2003) believes that information collected through closed questions are easier to quantify and compare.

Kumar (2005) describes an interview as any person-person interaction two or more individuals with the aim of achieving a particular purpose in mind. He goes on to say that interviews can be categorised into structured (rigid) and unstructured (flexible) interviews.

According to Hair et al (2003) the main advantage of the unstructured interview is that it allows the researcher or interviewer to collect in-depth information. However, Kumar (2005) argues that since unstructured interviews do not have predetermined questions, comparability of questions and responses from respondents may prove difficult.

Hair et al (2003).

3.4 Research methods and strategies adopted for this study

Survey: This is a research strategy involving the structured collection of data from a sizeable population (saunders et al 2003). A survey was carried out to the customers of ALDI stores in Manchester area, to gain a truly picture of the population and their behaviour and attitude towards Aldi's own-label and branded foods.

Saunders et al (2003) describes a pilot test as a small study designed to test a research instrument such as questionnaire or interview checklist, to reduce the chances of respondents experiencing difficulty in answering the questions and permitting some assessment of the reliability and validity of such questions.

The research instrument was a 23-item questionnaire which asked consumers about their behaviour towards branded and own-label foods at ALDI stores. The questionnaire was pilot tested. The researcher collected feedback from the pilot study and changes were made to improve consumer understanding and quality of the research instrument.

3.5 Sample Selection

According to Denscombe (2003) researchers are faced with the problems of collecting data from everyone in the category being researched. Hence they rely on the data from a group of the whole population and believe that the information found can be replicated in the rest of the population.

Kumar (2005) describes sampling as a process of selecting a few individuals from a bigger group which is the sampling population in order to estimate or predict the prevalence of an unknown piece of information, phenomenon or outcome concerning the bigger group. He further explains that this process has its advantages and disadvantages. It saves time and cost, however, he believes that the information about the population's characteristics of interest is not known but rather estimated or predicted. Hence the possibility of bias in the estimation may exist.

Hair et al (2003) identifies “probability sampling” and “non probability sampling” as the two types of sampling found in social research. He describes probability sampling as that which involves taking large samples which the researcher believes to be the representative of the target population in which the findings can be generalized to the target population with a specified level of confidence. While non-probability sampling involves selecting samples based on subjective methods rather than statistical representation of the population.

As a result of the nature of the topic under investigation, the research site was vital to the study. Hence Aldi Store located in Whitefield, Manchester was targeted. The store manager was approached and permission was obtained prior to collecting information from consumers in the retail outlet (Aldi Store). The researcher was allowed to stand outside the Aldi store. Hence consumers who had finished shopping were approached as soon as they walked out from the shop and were politely asked to fill out the questionnaire. Some of the consumers refused to participate in the survey and when this occur the next consumer were approached. If the consumer showed interest in the survey the questionnaire was orally administered in which the researcher read the questions out and recorded the respondent's responses. However, some of them preferred to write down

their responses themselves. The questionnaire was administered during a two week period. A total of 100 respondents were interviewed.

3.6 Analysis of Data

According to Sanrantakos (2005), quantitative analysis is a diverse and complex process that deals with the primary analysis of raw data freshly produced by a survey and a secondary analysis involving previously analyzed data. He further explains that data analysis begins where data collection stops in order for the researcher to draw conclusions on the findings of the survey.

In this survey, questionnaires will be analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in which both descriptive and inferential statistics will be employed. Quantitative responses were analysed by looking for recurrent themes and common issues.



This chapter aims to discuss, evaluate, compare and contrast the results with the results of the secondary data analysis.

4.1 Consumer Profile

The profile of consumers used in this research is presented in the form of charts and tables. 100 consumers were surveyed, of which 58% were female and 42% were male. The high percentage of females used in this research can be attributed to the fact

that most females tend to be more responsible for the family's household shopping. A majority (90%) of the consumers were between the ages of 30 and 60. Most (28%) respondents had university degrees, followed by 14% of respondents with GCSE education, 13% of respondents had craft qualifications and 12% of respondents had A-Levels as their highest level of education. The household size of respondents varied between one to five members. Structure of analysis is based on respondent's comments which will be linked to respondent's age, gender, education, family size and effect of credit crunch.





21-30 years




31-40 years




41-50 years




51-60 years




61 years & above




No answer








What is your highest academic qualification?













Post/undergraduate Degree








Craft Qualifications
















No answer








How many people do you normally cook food for, in your house?









































Table 2: Consumer Profile (n=100) is based on respondents age, qualification and family size.

4.2 Aldi as a main shop and respondent's visits in a week

To determine consumers' interest for Aldi as their main shop, the first question asked queried consumers on whether the Aldi was their main shop. Results obtained showed that 42 out of 100 respondents use Aldi as their main food supermarket. Taking into consideration that 42 % respondent's main shop is Aldi, they were asked how many times a week they shop at Aldi. Results show a majority 56 % of respondents shop once in a week, followed by 21% who shop twice a week. To know what other shops respondents shop at. A majority 69% of respondents claimed that the other supermarket they shop were Tesco and Asda. When the respondents were asked to mention their main food items they buy from Aldi supermarket, 46.9% answered that it was fruit and vegetables. The main reason for this may be the fact that Aldi store offers a great deal of special offers and promotional prices on fresh fruits and vegetables. However 11% respondents said that they buy general grocery from Aldi food stores instead.


Valid Percent

Fresh Fruit and Veg.


46.9 %

Chilled Food


6.1 %



1.0 %



7.1 %

Tinned goods


5.1 %

Frozen Goods


2.0 %

Sweet & Confectionary


1.0 %



2.0 %

Ready Meals


6.1 %

General Grocery


11.2 %

Soft Drinks


7.1 %



4.1 %

Table 3: Main food items that respondents buy from Aldi

4.3 Aldi's own label foods are of equal quality to branded foods

When respondent were asked to outline their perception of the quality of Aldi's own label food to the branded foods, 78% either strongly agreed or agreed that the quality of Aldi's own label foods were of equal quality to branded foods. This is also supported by Chaney, (2004) who stated that assumptions that an own label is a 'cheap' version of the manufacturer brand; is not evident. Chaney (2004) also mentioned that, the gap in quality that was evident over a decade ago has been reduced in recent years. This is also supported by Mintel report (2006) which concluded that, Europe is the most developed region of the world for own label groceries and in Europe, own label is growing faster than manufacturer's brands.

Chart 1: Aldi's own label foods are of equal quality to branded foods

4.4 Value for money and Aldi's own label foods

Knowing the fact that 78% consumers were satisfied with the quality of Aldi's own label foods, 77% respondents believed that Aldi's own label foods were also of better value for money than branded foods. This result support the work of Foley (2008) who stated that in order to save money; over four in ten consumers buy more own-label value lines, buy own-label products more often or have switched to cheaper brands. (Foley, 2008).

Chart 2: Aldi's own label foods are better value for money than branded foods.

From the data above it is clearly indicated that 77% think Aldi's own label foods are better value for money than branded foods

4.5 Easy to get to the supermarket

In establishing what other factors were involved in respondents choosing to shop, At Aldi 97% respondents answered that easy to access to Aldi store was another reason for shopping at Aldi. Only 3 % respondent thinks that it is difficult to get to the Aldi store. Most Aldi stores located near housing estates as opposed to out of town developments i.e. Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's etc. So Aldi's store location is a plus point Aldi has to other big retailers.

4.6 Customer Service

It strongly indicates that respondent were very satisfied with the customer service provided by Aldi. 24 % of respondents strongly agree and 33% agree that Aldi customer service was better than other supermarkets they use. Smith (1997) stated quality is about listening to our customers and delivering more than they expect. It's about paying attention to the smallest details and getting it right first time, every time.

Chart 3: Aldi's customer service is better than other supermarkets I use.

4.7 Credit Crunch

When asked whether the credit crunch was a reason behind their use of Aldi, 36 % of respondents either disagree or strongly disagree with the statement. While on the other hand 49 % respondent agreed or strongly agreed with it. This response support the Mintel Report (2006) that states, consumer buying behaviour has remarkably influenced by the current credit crunch/recession.

Chart 4: The credit crunch has resulted in me using Aldi more often than other supermarkets

4.8 Relationship between credit crunch and people at home

The table above suggests that respondents who have to cook food for only 2 individuals strongly agreed that the credit crunch has resulted in their visiting Aldi more often. In comparison 13 individual who cook food for 2 individuals disagree with it which indicates that there is no apparent relationship between people at home and credit crunch. This relationship between the number of people a person cooks for and the perceptions of their use of Aldi supermarket suggests that there is no significance difference between responding groups using a chi square test at p=0.05.

4.9 Credit crunch and age

10 out of 28 individuals aged between 41 to 50 years, agree that the credit crunch resulted in their using Aldi more often than other supermarkets. In all age groups 34 consumers out of 100 responded that the credit crunch did not make any difference in their shopping habits. However only 2% strongly disagreed with this relationship, this indicates that there is no direct relationship between age group and credit crunch resulting in their more visits to Aldi. The relationship is not significant using chi square test at p=0.05

21-30 years

31-40 years

41-50 years

51-60 years

61 years & above


The credit crunch has resulted in me using Aldi more often than other supermarkets

Strongly Agree




























Strongly Disagree














Table 4: Relationship between respondent's age group and credit crunch.

4.10 Credit Crunch and Respondent's qualification

66 % of PhD qualified respondents were either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that the credit crunch has resulted in them using Aldi more. While 25% of A-level respondents and 20% of 0-level respondents disagreed. 33 % of respondents without qualification disagreed with the statement that credit crunch have resulted in their shopping more at Aldi. These results suggests that there are no significance differences between respondents, based on their educational qualification and their use of Aldi, on a chi square test at p=0.05.

4.11 Respondent's qualification and suggestions for improving shopping experience at Aldi

The study of relationship between academic qualification and suggestions for improving shopping experience indicates that 49% of individuals regardless of their qualification were either satisfied or they did not know the ways to enhance the shopping experience at Aldi stores. 6 out of 28 individuals with university qualification found satisfied and another 9% of individuals were also satisfied with current provisions and did not answer when they asked for their academic qualification.

Method used to improve the shopping experience included: having more staff on check-outs and a wider range of products, better car park, and better availability of baskets and using credit cards. Only 3% of respondents suggested that Aldi should introduce online shopping. 5 out of 28 individuals who had a university education recommended that a wider range of food products is required. The results also show that differences in ways to improve the customer experience were not based on educational qualifications.

4.12 Aldi as a main food shop and number of family members in a house

When respondents were asked for their main food shop, 42% answered that Aldi was their main shop and their family size range was from 1 to 4 individuals per house. This reveals that Aldi attract those individuals whose family size range from 1 to 4.

4.13 Advantages of shopping at Aldi and own label foods are better value for money

Respondents highlighted the following advantages of shopping at Aldi as being “close to home” (31%) and “value for money” (28%), and these individuals are also agreed that Aldi's own label foods are better value for money than branded foods. Fewer consumers responded that Aldi had a wide rang of products (8%) and it is convenient (7%).

Chart 5: Advantages of shopping at Aldi and its own label foods are better value for money.

41 % of respondent think that the main advantage why they come to shop at Aldi is because it is close to their home while 36 percent were of the view that the main advantage of shopping at Aldi is value for their money.


Valid Percent

Close to my home


41.0 %

Value for money


36.0 %

Good Quality


3.0 %

Wide range of products


7.0 %

Facilities (parking & others)


4.0 %

Staff Attitude


1.0 %



8.0 %

Table 5: Advantages of shopping at Aldi

4.14 Gender and advantages of shopping at Aldi

When respondent's perceptions for Aldi were reviewed in terms of gender the results suggested no difference on a chi square test at p=0.05.



The aims of this chapter are,

1. To evaluate and summarise the key points from the results & discussion section.

2. To present each conclusion as separate comment.

5.1 Majority respondents believe Aldi customer service is better than other supermarket they use.

The majority of respondents believe that Aldi's customer service is better than other supermarkets' they go to. The percentages are 24 % (strongly agree) and 33% (agree) and only 11% (disagree).

Smith (1997) stated that quality is about listening to our customers and delivering more than they expect. It's about paying attention to the smallest details and getting it right first time, every time.

5.2 Quality of Aldi's own label foods is not lesser than that of branded foods.

When respondent were asked to show their level of agreement for quality of Aldi's own label food to the branded foods, 30% strongly agreed with above while nearly half of the respondents felt that the quality of Aldi's own label foods was not lower than that branded foods. However, according to Mintel Report (2008), retail brands do not yet command the same degree of brand loyalty that the big brand names do, even though many consumers do agree that taste and quality are often on a par. I disagree with the Mintel Report (2009) because Aldi has been awarded from within the retail industry for the quality and value of products. Winning this award (Which? Award “Best supermarket 2009”) reveals that nowadays in supermarket industry, there is increased growth of private label foods and that there is not too much difference of quality between own label foods and branded foods.

5.3 Credit crunch had an impact on the majority of customers in visiting Aldi more often than other supermarkets

49% respondents believed that credit crunch led them to go Aldi more often than other supermarkets. This percentage goes along with Verdict research i.e. UK Retail Futures 2013 (April 2009) which states the recession is resulting in an unprecedented change in consumer behaviour. The discounters are enjoying impressive growth. 34% of respondents, however, suggested that the credit crunch did not make any difference in their shopping habits.

Discount supermarkets like Aldi is an example of what Verdict research says. Aldi has had massive growth on its overall sales because of current credit crunch.

5.4 More than half respondents were satisfied with the shopping experience, and fewer suggested improvements for Aldi's shopping experience.

Nearly 50% of respondents were satisfied with the shopping experience at Aldi. The study of relationship between Academic qualification and suggestions for improving shopping experience at Aldi's shows 6 out of 28 individuals with university qualification found satisfied and another 9% individuals also satisfied but they did not answer when they were asked for their academic qualification. Having more staff on check-outs and more range of products is the suggestion from the individuals who got university education. Fewer respondents have given suggestions about having better car park, availability of baskets and using credit cards at Aldi, online shopping and more range of food products. Results show that suggestion for improvements were not only from those respondents who were well-educated.

5.5 Shopping at Aldi gives two main advantages “value for money” & “close to home”.

Respondent's answer for advantages of shopping at Aldi was “close to home” (31%) and “value for money” (28%). This reveals that more than half respondents shop at Aldi mainly because of its products value for money. Another secondary reason for them is that Aldi shop is local to their home.

5.6 Respondents' main shop and their family size

When respondents were asked for their main shop, 42% mentioned that Aldi is their main shop and in this 12, 10 and 10 were those individuals whose family size was 2, 3 and 4 respectively. This reveals that having Aldi as main shop particularly attract those individuals whose family size range from 1 to 4.

5.7 Females take responsibility of shopping in most cases.

58 % of respondents were female which indicates that mostly female take responsibility of shopping. From the data collected from 100 people at Aldi at different time of days it is noted that young people of age band 21-30 years of age are only 9 percent which indicates that they do not take responsibility of shopping.

5.8 Customers' frequency to visit Aldi is once and twice in a week in most cases.

Majority 56 % responded they shop once in a week, followed by 21% twice in a week from Aldi.

5.9 Customer at Aldi and other supermarkets

Majority 69% respondents claimed that the other supermarket they shop at is Tesco and Asda.

According to Mintel report, Tesco and Asda are two of the UK main retailers where 70-80% of people shop for canned food. So Aldi can attract customers towards its own label canned or packed food and increase their customers who normally shop at other supermarkets to buy similar products.

5.10 Respondents' main food items

When the respondents were asked to mention their main food items they buy from Aldi supermarket, 46.9% answered that it was fruit and vegetables. However 11% respondents said that they buy general grocery from Aldi food stores instead.

5.11 Aldi's own label foods are value for money

77% respondents believed that Aldi's own label foods are also of better value for money.

Keeping in mind this fact they were asked whether they prefer Aldi's own label foods to branded foods. 19 % respondent agreed and 18% disagreed or strongly disagreed (1%). Among them 40% were uncertain.

5.12 Most respondents declared it is very easy to get to Aldi store.

Only 3 % respondents think that it is difficult to get to Aldi store. This means Aldi stores are superbly located in the community areas.



The aim of this chapter is to present recommendations based on the conclusions outlined in chapter 5. Each recommendation will be presented separately and will make reference to implementation strategies, cost and benefits.

6.1 Aldi need to maintain its customer service at a high quality.

Aim To ensure excellent customer service at Aldi shops which is appreciated currently by 89% of respondents.

Implementation Strategy Training should be provided to all staff in terms of customer service techniques, complaint handling, shop layout, finding alternatives of products, making recommendations to customers, and demonstration.

Cost Store Management could arrange training to improve and provide better customer services. Training could be arranged once in a month in the office of the store. The cost for this will be training room, materials, trainers and staff time.

Benefits By implementing this strategy, best customer services could be delivered to the Aldi customers, and this will definitely improve the sales.

6.2 Aldi should maintain the quality of their own label products and further promote to customers

Aim To achieve consistent & excellent level of quality of own label food products as the branded foods have.

Implementation Strategy This could be implemented by presenting the samples of the products to customers, demonstration, promotion and campaigns. Aldi also need to maintain and establish well managed quality assurance, quality control system.

Cost It is obvious that requirement of high quality products will cost more money, but it will worth.

Benefits It will bring customer loyalty regarding quality. Customer will be confident to buy Aldi's own label foods.

6.3 Aldi should introduce a promotional campaign to attract shoppers from big shops from more adverse background

Aim To attract customers who cook food for bigger families.

Implementation Strategy Promotions should be in practice. This can be done by introducing buy one get one free, half price promotions and demonstrations.

Cost Occasional promotions cost less most of the time.

Benefits Because of promotions bulk quantity of products will go for sale, and it will reduce storage cost. It will attract more customers because of competition and also bring customer loyalty.

6.4 During the busy hours of the trading more staff is required on check-outs

Aim It will lessen the waiting time of customers in queues and will also bring customer loyalty. Hence delighting customers.

Implementation Strategy Cashiers/Store Assistant's duty hours should be employed at peak/busy hours of the business. They need to have an excellent approach for forecasting (expected number of customers in a particular day and keeping in view this making duty rota of staff). All staff should be trained to multi-skilled. Self service checkouts could also be introduced.

Cost Cost includes till computers and customer training (most customers already know how to use self service checkouts as they already use it at other supermarkets). It might cost some extra working hours of the staff as well.

Benefits Faster service will bring customer loyalty and confidence.

6.5 Wider range of products required

Aim To attract more diverse growth of customers who will use Aldi as their main supermarket.

Implementation Strategy Managers need to launch more ranges of some existing products.

Cost Additional ranges of products will cost more than the existing product ranges

Benefits It will attract those customers shop at other different supermarkets for their main routine food products or for general grocery.

6.6 Aldi should start accepting credit cards as a method of payment.

Aim To attract customers who like to do their shopping using credit cards as a method of payment.

Implementation Strategy Managers should take the initiative for this.

Cost It might cost extra because of the transaction fee. On the other hand, Aldi will improve its overall sales

Benefits It will boost overall sales of the company and bring customer loyalty and confidence.

6.7 To improve the facilities for the customers by the availability of shopping baskets.

Aim To facilitate and delight those customers who want to do small shopping using shopping baskets.

Implementation Strategy Purchase department should buy baskets from supplier in bulk.

Cost It includes cost of baskets and its storage facilities.

Benefits It will attract more and more customers, and will improve customer confidence and loyalty.

6.8 Online shopping should be introduced.

Aim To attract customers who like to shop online from other supermarkets

Implementation Strategy IT department should put attention for introducing online shopping at Aldi.

Cost Managing online shopping will definitely cost money in terms of marketing; it will facilitate the staff to process and deliver orders.

Benefits In this way Aldi will compete with other big retailers of the UK and will increase overall sales.

6.9 To improve the facilities for the customers by providing better car parking facilities.

Aim To improve customer satisfaction with better car park.

Implementation Strategy Managers of the company need to put their attention toward car park of the Aldi store.

Cost Cost for providing better car park to customers will worth.

Benefits This facility will bring customer loyalty and confidence.


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