When we launched Aldi Reviewer in 2016, one of the projects we undertook early on was to write about Aldi’s holiday hours. It wasn’t very difficult to write, because Aldi had generally kept pretty uniform holidays, both with respect to when its stores were closed and what the hours were when stores were open.
For a long time, Aldi in the United States was closed on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. One small wrinkle in this formula was Memorial Day, where a “limited number” of stores would be open on Memorial Day, although none of those stores were in our part of the Midwest.
On other holidays, stores would be open, but with limited hours. Those holidays were Labor Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. On most of its limited hours days, stores were open from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m., with New Year’s Eve being a little longer, with stores open from 9 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In the last few years, Aldi has made quiet but notable changes to its holiday hours.
How Holiday Hours Have Changed
For starters, being open on Memorial Day is no longer restricted to a “limited number” of stores. Instead, Aldi’s website currently states that Aldi stores are open for “limited hours” on Memorial Day. In other words, all Aldi stores are open for Memorial Day, but not for the full day. We’re not precisely sure when this change took place, but we think it happened sometime before or around 2018.
Likewise, the Independence Day — the Fourth of July — is no longer a closed day for Aldi. Instead, the store is open with limited hours. We’re not sure when this change took place, either, but we think it happened either in 2014 or 2015. (We did not initially realize this was even a change because it predated the launch of our site in 2016.) As recently as 2013, Aldi’s Facebook page noted: “Reminder, our stores will be closed for the July 4th holiday and will operate with normal hours on Friday, July 5th.”
Then there is Easter. In most parts of the country, Aldi stores are closed, and at the time of this post the Aldi website states that “all” Aldi stores are closed on Easter. However, in 2019 the Moreno Valley Division of Aldi — currently the only Aldi division in California — decided to keep all of its Aldi stores open, with full operating hours, on Easter Sunday. We don’t know if this is just an isolated exception or the beginnings of a trend.
On top of all that, there has also been a slow creep in the hours stores are open on holidays. For years it was pretty typical for stores to close at 4 p.m. on most holidays, but in recent years stores seem to be staying open a little bit later on some holidays, until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., like New Year’s Eve. Memorial Day, once a day Aldi was closed entirely, is now a day where many Aldi stores are open until 6 p.m.
At the time of this post, Christmas Eve is among the holidays where Aldi closes at 4 p.m. So is Independence Day … though, as I noted before, it is also a holiday where Aldi used to be closed altogether.
In many ways, Aldi’s changes reflect a broader trend in retail. More stores are open on holidays than in years past, including big box stores like Walmart and Target. In my area, most grocers are open on the holidays Aldi is open. One could argue that, if anything, Aldi is simply behaving like its competitors. That’s a fair point.
But I still can’t help but wonder how this change has gone over for longtime Aldi employees.
To be sure, for hourly workers, this does create an opportunity. There may be some workers — especially those who don’t have any family plans — who are on board with the make some extra money. Aldi, after all, pays its workers well compared to most other grocers.
I’m not sure that all Aldi employees are fans, though. Aldi managers, for example, are salaried, so these extra holidays and longer holiday hours translate to more hours worked, presumably for the same total pay. Those managers work very hard as is, and this adds to the load … especially when you take into account that Aldi managers have to pick up the slack when regular workers call in sick or are otherwise not working.
Holidays for workers can be a way to recharge with loved ones and ultimately be more productive. How chipping away at that holiday time affects workers remains to be seen.