Almost everybody knows Trader Joe’s, but few know that the offering basic not super-processed, affordable food, pushing their own brand, passing savings on to the consumer by concentrating on fewer and more essential products supermarket is a German idea.
According to news agency reports, Theo Albrecht, one of Europe’s richest men with an estimate fortune of 17 billion Euro has died. He was the co-founder of Germany’s worldwide discount supermarket chain Aldi, called Hofer in Austria and a co-owner of Trader Joe’s in the United States.
With his brother Karl Albrecht built a discount supermarket chain that spread all across Europe, expanding stores to France, Spain, Portugal, Poland and the United States, among other nations. Aldi has over 8,000 stores around the world. The Acronym Aldi stands for “Albrecht Discount”.
Both brothers serves as soldiers in WWII and took over their parents grocery store, when they returned to Essen. In 1971 the entrepreneur was kidnapped for 17 days and was released after paying seven million Deutschmarks ransom. He became a recluse thereafter. He was said to had collected old typewriters and loved the game of golf. He is survived by his wife Cilli and his two sons Theo and Berthold.
Shy of the spotlight and secretive, the two brothers were only featured as silhouettes in 1992 Forbes Magazine as the world’s richest men. No picture of them has been published in years.
The company said he died Saturday in his home city of Essen, but gave no cause of death.
The German Retail Federation said the country had lost one of its greatest entrepreneurs.
“There are only a few people who have stamped their mark on an entire business sector of the economy. Theo Albrecht achieved just that,” the federation’s managing director, Stefan Genth, said in a statement.