This week’s obituary for Theo Albrecht, the reclusive co-founder of Germany’s hugely successful store chain Aldi, proves there’s money in retail if you get it right. His estate is valued at $16.7 billion.

This week’s obituary for Theo Albrecht, the reclusive co-founder of Germany’s hugely successful store chain Aldi, proves there’s money in retail if you get it right. His estate is valued at $16.7 billion.

Theo and his brother Karl returned to a devastated Essen at the end of the Second World War, and were surprised to find their mother’s shop untouched by the bombing. They worked to develop a low cost, self-service model for a grocery store. A store based on a limited stock offering, consistently and efficiently delivered. Germany, indeed Europe, was in the grip of a rigorous austerity culture. Within a decade they had 100 stores. Today there are 8000.

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