Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Karl Albrecht, reclusive billionaire who co-founded German supermarket chain Aldi, dead at 94

The Sept. 5, 2006 photo provided by Aldi Sued on Monday, July 21, 2014 shows Aldi co-founder Karl Albrecht. Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world's richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94. (AP Photo/Aldi Sued)

Enlarge Image

The Sept. 5, 2006 photo provided by Aldi Sued on Monday, July 21, 2014 shows Aldi co-founder Karl Albrecht. Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world's richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94. (AP Photo/Aldi Sued)

BERLIN - Karl Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world's richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94.

Essen's city hall told The Associated Press that Albrecht was buried Monday in a family plot in a small ceremony in the city's Bredeney district where he lived. Aldi's press office said Albrecht died July 16.

"He created a corporate culture of mutual respect, he trusted his employees and their talents, and he gave them a chance to use them," said Aldi spokeswoman Kirsten Gess in a statement. "Our sympathies are with his family."

Albrecht and his brother Theo, who died in 2010, both worked in their parents' grocery store as they were growing up.

After both serving as German soldiers in World War II, the two took over the business and began a rapid expansion. By early 1960 they were operating some 300 stores.

After splitting the company into two, the brothers in 1962 rebranded the group Aldi — a contraction of "Albrecht Discount" — with Karl Albrecht leading Aldi South, and Theo Albrecht taking Aldi North. They still worked together, using their combined bargaining power to negotiate lower purchasing prices.

Their motto was "concentrating on the basics: a limited selection of goods for daily needs" and their formula sold well.

Today the group has thousands of stores in 17 countries in Europe, North America and Australia, and a family trust established by Theo Albrecht in 1979 bought the U.S. specialty grocery chain Trader Joe's.

Both brothers shunned publicity throughout their lives, and when Forbes featured them in 1992 as two of the world's richest men, it had to use silhouettes to illustrate the article because no pictures of them had been published for years.

Albrecht was ranked No. 24 on this year's Forbes list of the world's richest people with an estimated net worth of $25.9 billion.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates