My posts on BrowBeat are supposed to clock in at 500 words apiece (and I am always over, because Schuman is verbose as fuck, we all knew that–look at this parenthetical! Christ). This means that I often have to choose the angle I want to go with and exclude a bunch of stuff I would have emphasized if I’d had 5000 words and got paid accordingly. Here are some important points in response to some of the backlash in the comments I should not have read to this piece, which is currently in the prime position on Slate, and accordingly its most-read article (for the second time in a row, holy shit, I LOVE YOU, SLATE READERS and my editors!):
1) Aldi is not a “big-box” store. It does not operate on the big-box model. First off, it’s not located in the suburbs: it’s usually (but not always) located in “bad” neighborhoods in major American cities (these neighborhoods are not actually bad, people are just hella racist–and if you don’t read Yo Is This Racist, you are wack). Auf jeden Fall, because Aldi carries primarily private-label goods, it doesn’t have as much of everything (one kind of generic raisin bran means a much smaller cereal aisle, for example–and bee-tee-dubbs, the Aldi cereal aisle is where Weight Watchers goes to be pulverized), and therefore the stores are much smaller than your average Schnucks.
2) Speaking of Schnucks: St. Louis’s leading grocery chain is way expensive, and more so even in neighborhoods like mine, which are “urban,” which is slang for “some Shopping While Black occurs there.” As anyone who’s ever lived in the inner city knows, any store that caters to a minority and/or low-income population takes advantage of the fact that many in the inner-city demographic either don’t have transportation or don’t want to spend a ton on gas, and as such they charge prices that border on extortionate (I remember the “Project Grocery” near the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn–unconscionable). Aldi, on the other hand, is a store that sets up camp in neighborhoods like the one slightly north of mine, and offers high-quality groceries that are legitimately cheap (and yes, they take EBT, and yes, I vehemently support EBT).
3) Aldi’s German-style business model means that it can employ fewer people, but it’s German-style business ETHICS means that it pays those employees more than its competitors do (and metric fuck-tons more, for example, than Walmart).
Do I support making the richest person in Germany even richer? Well, yes and no. On the one hand, Germans pay way more taxes than we do, so a lot of his money goes back into the system. Also, the Albrechts are reclusive (and thus I must conjecture odd as fuck), and they give vast swaths of their insane fortune to charity (far, far more than the Waltons, who make up almost half of America’s combined wealth, or some insane statistic I don’t feel like looking up).
What I support, again, is the Germanifying of the grocery-shopping process, and thus I hope Aldi is a raging success and spawns imitators. Oh holy shit, I have so much work to do today. I gotta bounce.