Aldi announced last month that it is testing credit cards in several U.S. markets, including Minnesota and Syracuse, NY. The test includes the acceptance of Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Aldi's parent company is already accepting credit cards in England, Scotland and Wales.
Analysts believe the change is an attempt by Aldi to increase its customer base, especially with middle-income shoppers. They also believe Aldi's prices won't be affected, as it is the company's goal to offset the extra cost to process credit cards with increased sales.
In recent years Aldi has been relaxing some of its cost controls in an effort to make the shopping experience more appealing to a broad audience. For instance, the company is running weekly ads, stocking 25% - 30% more items, and increasing labor costs to keep shelves restocked rather than using full pallets.
In the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh markets, Bottom Dollar customers (and landlords) are anxiously awaiting what Aldi plans to do with the 66 stores it recently purchased and closed.