I’ve always liked the convenience of picking up wearable necessities for my kids while doing my weekly grocery shopping at Aldi over the years. Does a growing child need new rain boots, sandals, winter boots, leggings, a swim suit, or a light jacket? I’d just drop them into my shopping cart alongside the “red bag” chicken and peanut butter cups. I also loved coming across little surprises from time to time: a cute kid’s shirt, a practical pair of shorts, or some adorable tiny jelly slip-on flats.
Aldi doesn’t always stock kids’ clothing and shoes. Instead, they sell these kinds of items for limited times throughout the year as Aldi Finds, which means stores get one shipment and they sell them until they run out, and that’s it until next time, whenever next time might be.
But recently I pointed out to my husband that during the times when Aldi stocks children’s stuff, there are notable gaps in the sizes that are sold. Entire sizes are not offered, and right now Aldi doesn’t ever sell anything that fits one of our average-sized elementary-aged children.
There are actually two groups that Aldi generally doesn’t appear to sell clothing and shoes for: babies and bigger kids or tweens.
Aldi Doesn’t Sell Infant Clothing
First, with rare exceptions, Aldi generally doesn’t sell infant clothing. Most clothing starts at size 2T or 3T and goes up from there. I understand and don’t have a problem with this. Baby clothing is niche, and people don’t typically think of discount grocers when they want to go shopping for the tiniest humans. (Although Aldi can be a great place to get affordable diapers and wipes.)
Aldi Doesn’t Sell Clothing or Shoes for Mid- to Upper-Elementary Kids
Second, Aldi does not sell clothing or shoes for kids in the mid to upper elementary school years or tween years.
It wasn’t always this way with clothes. About five or six years ago they did sell larger children’s sizes, and I still have some of those clothes from Aldi because they’ve been passed down from child to child in my house. I think Aldi may have stopped carrying the larger sizes when they changed the name of their house brand for children’s clothing from L & D to Lily & Dan a few years ago.
Here are some specifics:
- In clothing, Aldi children’s sizes start around 2T or 3T and top out at a kids’ medium (they don’t currently sell children’s larges — equivalent to a kids’ 10/12). In my family’s experience, Aldi children’s mediums fit similar to a children’s 6/6X or maaay-be a 7/8 if you’re lucky. If you have children who wear a size 10/12 or a children’s large, Aldi will disappoint you just about every time. As I mentioned above, Aldi used to sell things for kids in size 10/12 because a few years ago I purchased shorts, t-shirts, and swim suits in that size for one of my kids. But starting a few years ago, Aldi seems to have dropped that larger size from its children’s clothing lineup, focusing now on toddler, preschool, and very young elementary sizes.
- In footwear, Aldi kid shoes in my memory have always stopped around a youth size 13/1 or 2/3. There is some overlap between youth sizes and adult sizes, but Aldi doesn’t stock those overlapping sizes. For example, an employee at a popular shoe chain retailer told me recently that a youth size 4 shoe is roughly equivalent to a women’s size 6 shoe, but Aldi women’s shoes usually start at a size 7, so you’re out of luck if your older child is in a certain size range. Aldi women’s shoes tend to run a bit large, too, so that women’s size 7 might actually fit like a women’s size 8.
As mentioned earlier, I can understand why Aldi might not want to sell a lot of clothing for young babies. I can even understand, to an extent, why they wouldn’t sell larger youth shoe sizes. However, I’m not sure why Aldi doesn’t sell clothing for tween sizes. It’s a strange gap to me, an Aldi doughnut hole, if you will. It’s sometimes disappointing to my kids, especially if they see something they like in the weekly ad and I tell them it’s not available in their size.
Perhaps Aldi thinks this age group is picky or hard to please in the clothing and footwear department. Perhaps when they offered size 10/12 or kids’ large clothing a few years ago it never sold as well as the smaller sizes, so they adjusted their inventory offerings. It probably comes down to profits, as most things in the business world do. But for whatever reason, Aldi appears to deem the big kid or tween demographic as not worth marketing to.
One of my children has grown out of the Aldi kids’ clothing gap years and graduated to adult sizes, and I can once again pick up things they ask for or need during my grocery trips.
But I’ve got another child who is in the midst of the sizing desert and just about nothing at Aldi is made to fit them. I browse the weekly ads and look with envy at the cute galoshes and spring jackets that don’t fit anyone in my house. It’s just not meant to be at this stage in life. We are in the gap years.
But we’ll give it a few more years and soon be able to once again find something that fits every member of the family at our favorite grocery store.