No single news story captured the world in early 2022 like the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The invasion, which began on February 24th, dominated the news cycle throughout late February and into March. At the time of this post, the situation continues to evolve, even as people all over the globe watch.
Many countries have responded to the invasion in different ways, but what is equally notable is the way private businesses have as well. Responses have ranged from providing aid to Ukrainian refugees to ceasing business operations in Russia.
The two Aldi companies — Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord — are both headquartered in Essen, Germany, which is not as far from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as you might think. Roughly 1,100 miles of road separates the two cities, which is about the same distance as driving from New York City to Kansas City. And Aldi Süd, the Aldi company that includes Aldi US, has stores in Hungary, which borders Ukraine from the west. (Aldi does not have stores in Ukraine or Russia.)
So how has Aldi responded?
For starters, the company, like many others, has expressed support for Ukraine and its people. For example, Aldi Süd, which includes Aldi US, has donated 5 million Euros — more than $5.5 million U.S. dollars — in humanitarian aid. According to Aldi UK, those donations include the Red Cross.
In addition, Aldi UK, which is also a part of Aldi Süd, announced that it is offering jobs to Ukrainian refugees. According to Aldi UK, “Aldi has over 8,000 roles available and would welcome applications from Ukrainian refugees, subject to their eligibility for UK employment.”
The invasion of Ukraine has also posed some challenges for Aldi shoppers in Europe. Ukraine was a major exporter of several products, most notably the components of cooking oil. News of potential cooking oil shortages led to panic buying of cooking oil in some Aldi locations in Europe, which in turn led some Aldi locations there to limit the number of purchases.
While Aldi Süd has been outspoken, Aldi Nord has not. At the time of this post, Aldi Nord hasn’t issued any public statements about Ukraine. Likewise, Trader Joe’s, which is owned by Aldi Nord but operates independently of it, has not publicly commented on the situation.