From the environment to equality, see how we make sure the Aldi way is the right way.
Aldi is one of the fastest-growing grocery retailers in the UK and we’re regular contenders for the top spot in the Times Top 100’s ‘Best Graduate Employers’. All of our graduates join our Area Manager Programme, which has generated quite a bit of gossip around campus. And not just because of the great package and Audi A4. You’ve probably heard that it’s hard work, and you’d be absolutely right. Our Area Managers are critical to our future business success, in fact, the majority of our Directors started their Aldi life on the programme, so we know that knuckling down is the only way to achieve real success.
You’ll be hungry for early responsibility and confident in your capabilities. But you’re also incredibly respectful of your store colleagues and ready to learn the ins and outs of Aldi life. (And, yes, that will include stacking shelves.) After all, it’s important you earn the trust of your team. Once you do, they’ll be happy to take guidance from you as you take on more responsibility. Time moves swiftly and by week 14, you could hold the keys to at least one store.
Over the year, you’ll experience all kinds of challenges that will sharpen your commercial edge and turn you into a brilliant, inspiring leader.
Check out ‘A Year Like No Other’ which gives you a detailed breakdown, leading up to the point where you’re running your own £multi-million business. What happens next? Just take a look at our new films which follow the lives of Gus and Sam who are experienced Area Managers.
A big welcome to Aldi. Day one is all about meeting your Directors and spending time with your new boss. They’ll help you outline exactly what’s expected from you and prepare you for that all-important year ahead.
You’ll spend this time understanding your new role with an experienced colleague who will become your mentor throughout your training.
Time to roll up your sleeves. There’s no point being a manager unless you know the nitty-gritty of store life. You’ll be meeting colleagues, stacking shelves, getting to know our products and learning our unique approach to customer service.
A chance to relax for a week, absorb all that knowledge and think about the great start you've made at Aldi.
We'll give you the keys to a store. Once the detailed training's done, you'll show us how you can take control, smoothly run a £multi-million business, and motivate the team around you.
Time for another week's well-earned holiday. And with a good wage coming in, you'll be able to holiday in style.
More keys to another store? Go on then. You know what to expect now so you're more than ready. The challenge is to keep it all running smoothly, never taking your eye off the ball for a minute.
Phew. Another breather. The programme's really gathering pace now so it's important to re-charge your batteries and just chill out for a week.
Our huge network of stores rely on a range of support operations. During your Regional Office Training, you'll get to know our Accounts, Trading and Business Administration teams and the kind of issues they handle.
Two weeks to learn everything you need to know about Logistics. You'll be the key link between Logistics and Operations, so it's important to understand both sides, inside and out.
It's holiday time again. A chance to reflect on the huge amount you've learned and feel very proud of yourself.
Out of store training. You'll start to expand your specialist areas now as you master everything from financial planning to store merchandising.
Some more rest, happy in the knowledge that you're near the finish line.
Ready to look after an Area? This is five weeks of in-at-the-deep-end exposure to life as an Area Manager. You'll cover for your colleagues while they're on holiday and really put your skills to the test.
Time for your final review. We'll take a long, hard look at how far you've come over the year. By now, you should be fully prepared and feeling confident to take responsibility for your own Area.
Year two is a pretty special time. You’ve done all the groundwork, and you’re now a fully-fledged Area Manager. Because things move so quickly, you’ll have gained an incredible amount of experience and you're completely ready for the next challenge. During years two, three and beyond, you’ll take full control of your area.
Every stage of your Area Manager journey will feature two things: a massive focus on people and a real pride in your stores. You care about your staff, you want them to do well and you’ll do everything you can to make your area successful. A big part of your role involves visiting your stores and getting weekly updates from your Store Managers. How’s the store doing? How are the team working together? If you spot any areas for improvement, you’ll be quick off the mark to put effective solutions in place.
One day a week will probably be devoted to recruiting and developing new staff, purely because we’re growing so quickly. So you could be interviewing candidates, having updates with new starters, mentoring trainee Area Managers, that kind of thing. The success of an Aldi store is all down to the quality of its people, and you’ll receive plenty of training on how to recruit the perfect team. And one thing’s for sure, your staff will become like an extended family.
Then there’s the financial planning, monitoring of KPIs, checking cash handling, merchandising, auditing… all kinds of challenges and demands will come your way. There’s always plenty to learn and you’re constantly growing as a Manager. There’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, but with that comes a real sense of purpose and value. And don’t forget you’ll be part of a network of Area Managers who are all going through similar challenges, so there’s always someone to offer help and advice.
One or two years into the programme, you could be offered a placement in the UK or abroad, or an opportunity to do some project work that will take you outside of your normal operating function. For instance, you could have the chance to explore more efficient technology or roll out new functionality across the region. Everything’s designed to give you a greater appreciation of store life and an excellent foundation for your future career at Aldi.
After a few years, for those who really impress us, there’s the chance to do a secondment in Europe, the US or even Australia. You’ll get to see how Aldi operates globally, soak up the different Aldi cultures and bring fresh ideas back to the UK.
It’s a chance to take your personal and professional development to the next level. You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone, but you’ll take up the challenge head-on, and show everyone how capable you are.
While it may be the same job on paper, just on a different continent, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself learning from scratch. That’s down to the subtle (and not so subtle) variances in cultures and operating markets. One way or another, it will require a real sense of adventure, resilience and open-mindedness.
But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at Leanne’s story.
Leanne – Buying Director
“I was an Area Manager in the UK and a District Manager in the States, in Haines City, Florida. It’s essentially the same job but it was surprising just how different the US business was. For instance, it was a new challenge to get to grips with US employment law. Aldi US also has a different culture in terms of food shopping and customer service too, so there are always new things to learn.
“Many of the daily challenges, however, were very familiar to me. I spent my time visiting stores, developing people, coaching managers, opening new stores and training District and Store Managers. Plus everyone had the same Aldi approach and personal traits, which I found reassuring.
“It was a great opportunity to work and live in a place such as Florida, and to experience the business from a completely fresh perspective. Going on a secondment presents such a fantastic opportunity both personally and professionally and, to get the most out of it, you need to be tough, brave and adaptable to change. There’s a lot to digest if you’re not open to it.
“Aldi keeps getting bigger in the US. Our profile’s increasing – as is the market share – so it was a great time to be part of it all. In fact, it’s definitely one of my career highlights."
Sam and Gus wanted to be part of a business that offered amazing career prospects. They wanted to learn fast and rise quickly. Sam was originally torn between Aldi and the Army (we’re delighted she chose Aldi) and Gus used to be a teacher. They were both intrigued by the Aldi story and have now spent a few years in the role. But what do they actually do? Let’s find out.
We pride ourselves on clarity here at Aldi. Yes you’ll work hard, but you’ll see exactly how your efforts, determination and fresh ideas are shaping our wonderful business. We don’t offer average packages because we don’t employ average people. Everything’s all been designed to ensure that you’re happy, fulfilled and proud to work for us.
Your generous starting wage will rise in stages to £73,450 after four years.
A thing of beauty that’s for sure. It arrives on day one (so you’ll need a driving licence) but it comes as part of a tough and demanding role.
If you’re performing really well, we’ll suggest a UK, European or even International Secondment (typically to the US or Australia). This tends to happen within your first four years.
It’s important to us that you feel looked after, now and in the future. You’ll be given five weeks’ holiday every year plus bank holidays. There’s also a pension scheme, private healthcare (after 6 months) and life assurance.
You’re in at the deep end but you’ll have our full support and encouragement throughout the year – and beyond. We’re just that kind of business.
This is the big one. As soon as you’re ready – which could be even less than a year – you’ll take full responsibility for three or four stores.
We wouldn’t be this successful without recruiting strong-minded, brave people to share our ambitions. We do have quite a specific culture. It’s well-managed, efficient and everyone works in harmony with a combined sense of purpose. Responsibilities are crystal clear and everyone knows what’s expected of them. The question is, do you have the kind of qualities we need? Take a look at our video to learn more about our environment, then try the quiz to see if you could be an ‘Aldi’ person.
Alongside a minimum of 240 UCAS points (or 150 points for Scottish Highers) from your top 3 A levels/Scottish Highers, excluding general studies, this shows us you’re not only bright and committed but you have a strong work ethic. You’re excited by every new challenge that comes your way.
You’re always mindful of the bigger picture and can see how your efforts directly affect Aldi’s success. You’re a tough and resilient character who enjoys the challenges of a dynamic and fast-paced environment. This means working a five day week, including some weekends, as well as overseeing store operations from opening or closing.
Bursting with charisma, you influence people around you with your passion and ideas. But you also treat your colleagues with decency and respect; you understand that we’re stronger together.
Finally, you'll need a driving licence since part of our generous package includes a car.
The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive.
Every Area Manager approaches their responsibilities differently but there are plenty of core traits that shine through: ambition, resilience and a fierce determination to succeed.
Our people achieve success through their own merit and their ability to win the respect of others. There are no egos here. We love doing business with honesty and integrity, and we’re led by people who have Aldi’s best interests at heart.
Take a look at the chart below to see how different roles fit together and where the development opportunities are. As an Area Manager, you sit just below Store Operations Director, so you can see how your future career path could progress.
There are new stores (and store extensions) opening all the time. But right now, the picture looks something like this. The UK’s divided up into 9 Aldi regions. Each region has its own Head Office led by a Managing Director, a group of Directors and our wonderful team of Administrators. Importantly, each region also has its own Regional Distribution Centre (or RDC) which takes care of the flow of goods, ensuring that our customers get all their favourite things on time.
As an Area Manager, you’ll report to the Store Operations Director and look after the people, processes, efficiencies and targets of 3 to 4 stores. The Store Managers (with their team of Assistant and Deputy Managers, as well as Store Assistants) will be looking to you for guidance and leadership. You’ll also be the valuable link between these stores and the warehouse teams back at the RDC.
With our Scottish Distribution Centre opening in 2004, our store numbers have gone from strength to strength. We stock over 200 items in our Scottish stores that you won’t find in the UK. 25% of our product range is actually sourced in Scotland, with great products that include haggis and Scottish cod.
Opening in 1995, Darlington is one of our most established regions. From Newcastle to York and Sunderland, we cover the entire North and North-East of England. With no less than 55 wonderful Aldi stores, we’re keeping lots of customers happy - and lots of staff, too. Darlington’s Managing Director has been with us for over 25 years, which is a true testament to what’s on offer at Aldi.
This region was opened as our second Distribution Centre back in 1991 based in Middleton, Manchester. It might cover the smallest geographical area, but it’s still incredibly busy due to the density of stores that opened in the City of Manchester and its surrounding areas. The Distribution Centre has recently relocated to Bolton in a brand-new purpose built site.
This region opened in 2006 and covers a vast area: Liverpool, the Western coastal areas and Cheshire. We even share responsibility for Wales, looking after the Northern part of the country.
We're rather fond of this region, as this is where it all began for Aldi in the UK. Our very first store opened in Stechford (Birmingham) on 5th April 1990. Our Corporate Head Office functions, including IT, Corporate Responsibility, Buying and Central Finance & Administration, are also located on the Atherstone site.
Opening in 2000, this region covers a broad geographic area across the South-East. It runs from Lincolnshire to the South coast, and includes most of London. We’re planning even more expansion (particularly into London) so even more customers will get to sample our delights.
Swindon is the UK’s largest Aldi region, with some of the busiest stores in the country. Opening in 1998, it covers the majority of the South of England. At the moment, it also includes South Wales and the South West of England. However, this is set to change. Eventually, these areas will move to our new regional Distribution Centre in Cardiff. All very exciting. If you’re looking for an opportunity in South Wales or the South West – please select Cardiff on your application.
Opening in 2015, this region covers stores in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. There are all kinds of opportunities in this area ranging from Warehouse Operations and Store Accounts, to Finance & Admin and Quality Control. It’s a mixed bag of delights to suit many different skills. We’d love to see where you’d fit in.
We’re very busy working away on our brand new Cardiff Regional Distribution Centre. It’s all set to open at the beginning of 2017 and we can’t wait. It will look after all of the stores in South Wales and the South West of England which are expanding rapidly. Please select Cardiff if you’re looking for a job in South Wales or the South West of England.
Back in 1961, the Albrecht brothers split the business into two groups: Aldi Nord (North) and Aldi Süd (South). The latter (which includes Aldi UK) consists of over 5,000 stores. Did you know that Aldi Süd was the first big retailer in Europe to ban eight pesticides that were found hazardous to bees?
We opened our doors in 1968. We’ve got 457 stores, 7 Distribution Centres and 9,073 employees. Plus, we have 237 home-grown organic products and environmentally friendly cleaning products in our range. And, as of the beginning of 2016, we’ve been operating entirely carbon-neutral.
In 1976, one year after our 500th Aldi South store opened, Aldi US officially launched. We now have 1,500 stores across 34 states, plus recent expansion into California. This is where we initially launched our new concept store called ‘Aldi Food Market’ with fresh food and extensive chilled ranges at the heart of the offer.
As of 1999, we’ve been taking Ireland by storm. We’re committed to supporting Irish suppliers, with over half of our product range sourced locally. And they’ve proven a real hit, gaining a number of awards. Split into two regions – Naas and Mitchelstown – our RDCs service over 120 stores across the country.
Opened in 2001, we’ve got 400 stores serviced by 6 Distribution Centres. 91% of Aldi Australia’s fresh fruit and veg are grown within the country. Now that’s some sustainable sourcing. We were also the first Australian supermarket to join the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) which ensures more ethical practices in our supply chain.
Opened in 2005, we’ve got 180 stores, 3 Distribution Centres and 2,410 employees. The first new store triggered a rush of bargain-hunters in one of the world’s most expensive countries. The car park at Altenrhein was full within 30 minutes!
Just like our Swiss stores, we opened in 2005. Although smaller in scale – we still have 78 stores, 1 Distribution Centre and 1,364 employees. The stores carry around 700 food lines, including typical Slovenian products.
We threw our doors open in 2008, across 107 stores, 1 Distribution Centre and with the help of 1,883 employees. So far, we’ve won two ‘Superbrands’ awards (2014 and 2016). These awards recognise quality retailing in Hungary.
Not many people know we’re in Asia, but here we are. In 2012, we opened the Corporate Responsibility Unit Asia in Hong Kong. Not only does it realise our CR goals in the continent, it also helps to forge closer relationships with our suppliers.
So you’re ready to apply. We recruit all year round, but spaces go very quickly (particularly in the Autumn) and it’s really competitive. However, if you’re the kind of person we’re after, that won’t put you off. In fact, you’ll be thinking ‘bring it on’. You should be aware that we may ask you to consider working in a location other than your initial preference.
You’ll need to complete an online application and various tests that will assess your judgement and your analytical skills.
You’ll be sent a link to complete an online psychometric test. This has been designed to measure your core skills and personal qualities, to see if we’re right for each other.
Lights, camera, action. It’s all about you. This is a chance to impress us in a five-minute video called ‘Who am I?’. Show us you’re a determined, charismatic leader who we couldn’t do without. We understand that filming this kind of thing can be daunting for some, so we’ve included a helpful film clip above.
Group Assessment is hard. You’ve got to work as a team, but still let us know that you’ve done your homework about Aldi and that you’re a natural leader. It’s a fair and consistent process, but make your presence known!
Well, you’re nearly there. If you’ve passed everything else, you’ll then have a final interview with your Regional Managing Director, so make sure you’re prepared!
As soon as possible! We do recruit all year round but spaces go very quickly, particularly in the Autumn.
If you've already applied but not been successful, you’ll need to wait 12 months before reapplying. But you’re welcome to apply for other roles any time.
Possibly, but usually only within your chosen region. We're a fast-growing business so it's important to have a flexible, understanding approach.
The minimum requirement for our Area Manager Scheme is a 2:1 degree. However we also have plenty of other management opportunities within our stores with further information available on our website.
A full driving licence and a valid UK work permit.
We ask for a minimum of 240 UCAS points (or 150 points for Scottish Highers) from your top 3 A levels/ Scottish Highers, excluding general studies, (or the equivalent accreditations such as BTECs and BACs). And, in terms of degree, we need a 2:1 in any discipline.
The Group Assessment will be held in our HR Academy based in Bolton. However for those applying for the Bathgate, Swindon or Cardiff regions the Group Assessment will be held at the Regional Distribution Centre. The Final MD Interview will be held in the Regional Distribution Centre that you applied to. If your application is successful, we'll let you know all the details nearer the time.
You'll need to provide the very best support to your Store team. So that can involve working weekends and bank holidays; we do ask for you to be flexible and we'll accommodate your needs in return.
We recruit approximately 150 Area Managers every year, across the UK and Ireland. But this could change as our business continues to expand.
Yes is the short answer. As long as you've met the criteria of course.