Why Most Aldis Don't Have Baskets

Aldi shoppers all know the drill with the renta-carts – BYO quarter or go without. There are times, though, when you just want to grab a quart of milk and a loaf of bread, and you really don't want to have to go through the whole deal with unchaining the cart, swapping it out at the register, etc. Wouldn't it be convenient if they had something smaller and more portable, something along the lines of...a basket? You know, like all the other grocery stores have?

While a recent Reddit thread indicates that a few select Aldis do offer these, particularly in the Chicago area, and also mentions Aldi baskets in the UK, numerous Aldis both in the U.S. and abroad remain basket-less. Why would this be? An article in the Star-Tribune offers some insight. An Aldi that opened in 2019 in Minneapolis' Uptown area was the first in its division, comprising 90 stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, to carry baskets. They adopted baskets due to the fact that the Minneapolis store is located in a neighborhood where, as division VP Matt Lilla said, there are a "number of shoppers who will come by bike, bus or on foot." These baskets, however, have something that most standard supermarket baskets don't: security tags to prevent them from being stolen since it seems that other Aldis offering baskets have had problems with people swiping them.

What you can use instead of a basket

Aldi Australia, which also seems to be a pretty basket-free zone due to past theft issues, decided to remedy the problem by taking a different approach. They started selling their own "Shopboxes" priced at $9.99 so shoppers can have their baskets and walk off with them, too, without breaking the law. Nine News reports that reactions were mixed. Many complained that Aldi would charge for a product that other stores supply free, but others found the baskets both cute and useful.

While U.S. Aldis have yet to start selling baskets, they do tend to offer another product that pretty much serves the same function...reusable shopping bags, While one Redditor expressed doubts about using a bag in lieu of a basket, saying "I'll feel like I am stealing," another reassured reluctant baggers: "I know it may seem weird putting things in your bag but, don't feel weird about it, tons of people do it." Another thing you can do is to bring your own rubber basket. While some savvy Aldi shoppers use these in their carts in place of bags, you could skip both bag and cart and just use the BYO basket on all your Aldi trips. As a bonus, another Redditor points out that "using a basket instead of a cart reduces the number of impulse buys." Makes sense – after all, the Aisle of Shame is far less alluring when you face the prospect of schlepping your finds sans wheels