Karl Albrecht, the co-founder of discount grocer Aldi has died aged 94. He died in Essen, Germany on July 16 and was buried in a private ceremony on Monday. Albrecht was the second-richest person in Germany and the 35th-wealthiest in the world, with an estimated fortune of £12.2bn.
In 2009 he and his brother Theo were inducted into the Private Label Hall Of Fame for founding Aldi and their contributions to private brand. The pair took control of their mother’s grocery store in the German city of Essen. From the small local store, they built the global recognized discount retailer. Aldi now has nearly 5,000 stores worldwide, including 1,300 in the United States.
In 1961, after a disagreement about whether to sell cigarettes, the brothers divided the company into two operating units within Germany, Karl running Aldi Süd and Theo running Aldi Nord. As they expanded into other countries, Karl would control operations in Britain, Australia and the United States, while Theo controlled the stores in Europe. Theo stepped into the American market in 1979 by buying the Trader Joe’s and later expanding in the U.S.