Discounter Aldi Nord has been restructuring its purchasing organisation. In this remarkable step towards a modern and lean category management, the company is doing away with the separation between category management and purchasing, which was introduced five years ago.
More power will be given to the ones responsible for the category: They are to manage the product range and can make binding agreements with suppliers. The move should make the buyers more involved with the store. In addition, lengthy coordination processes and sometimes conflicting interests between the person who decided on the listing and the person who negotiated the purchasing price are avoided.
In addition, Aldi Nord is standardising its range across countries. Before, 50 to 70 percent of the range was centrally bought, and thus part of the range in stores in all countries. In the future, up to 80 percent of items will be purchased centrally across countries.
Another advantage is that the new structure better matches the buying organisation of Aldi Süd. The companies are in the process of deepening their cooperation. This includes combining their own brands. The retailers will typically first combine own brands in a category in Germany and then slowly spread the new uniform private label over the countries where they operate. At the same time, private label names are changed to internationally ‘understandable’ names.
There is no doubt we will be seeing more synergies among the two Aldis in the future.