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Aldi fires $3.4 billion shot in U.S. supermarket wars – Reuters

Aldi’s announcement of its U.S. expansion plans garnered massive exposure in key national and financial media. In addition to Reuters, other news outlets including BloombergUSA Today and Business Insider picked up the story.

So what can we learn from the German grocery giant’s press release?

What Works:
  • Strong News Hooks. Aldi is making good use of the big numbers and superlative news hooks. The company mentions high up in the press release that the $5 billion investment program will make Aldi the third-largest grocery store in the U.S., serving 100 million customers per month. Also, its headline mentions that the company’s growth plan will create 25,000 U.S. jobs.
  • Compelling Narrative. The announcement opens with a strong storyline: “Aldi continues to disrupt the U.S. grocery industry”. The company adds even more magic to its narrative by emphasizing that it’s bucking the trend “in a turbulent retail environment”, which was picked up by many outlets including AFP. Journalists love the counterintuitive.
What Doesn’t Work:
  • Missing Context. Aldi could have done a better job putting its numbers in perspective and providing more background about its U.S. success story. After adding 25,000 jobs, how many people will they employ in the U.S.? How many customers do they currently serve, and how many stores are they adding? To find Aldi’s current store count, journalists had to scroll down to the boiler plate and then do the math themselves.
  • Too Much Fluff. The release’s opening sentence has a strong start but a weak ending: “Aldi continues to disrupt the U.S. grocery industry by providing customers with a smarter way to shop”. The news is not that they are unveiling a new shopping experience, but that they are investing an additional $3.4 billion to add 900 stores.
What We’ve Learned:

Aldi had all the right ingredients to create a compelling press release: big numbers, a strong superlative and a growth narrative that bucked the retail trend. The press release capitalized on these elements by highlighting them in the headline and the first two paragraphs, giving journalists plenty of reason to keep on reading. However, the grocery store giant could have done a better job accommodating journalists by providing more background about its U.S. success story and putting the numbers in perspective. 

Check out Aldi’s press release here and let me know in the comments section below why you think it was so effective and what lessons you will likely apply in your next press release.

Marcel van de Hoef is co-founder of Publiqly, whose Workflows help small and mid-sized companies write press releases that journalists and bloggers can’t ignore. Were you forwarded this post? Sign up to receive our weekly press release lessons directly in your inbox.

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