Discount supermarket ALDI is many things to many people: a professional chef’s secret weapon, a purveyor of horrid cheeses, a beacon of affordability in a landscape beset by inflation, or just a reliable place to grab some red bag chicken. But starting in November each year, ALDI becomes, quite literally overnight, the go-to destination for fun and unique advent calendars, featuring numerous edible and drinkable ways to count down to Christmas Eve. Since the calendars are arriving at ALDI nationwide tomorrow, November 2, it’s only fair that we take a look at what employees are saying about these calendars, and how each store prepares to handle the rush that comes with them.
What ALDI employees are saying about advent calendars this year
On the Aldi_Employees subreddit, one can find a lot of chatter about the impending tidal wave of interest in the advent calendars. This thread, for example, is currently abuzz with tips for a first-time ALDI worker who has never been present for an advent calendar release day before.
“The managers and everyone made it seem like this big deal and that it’s always really crazy,” the original poster writes—and many fellow users confirm that, yes, it’s a mild shitshow.
“At open is when it’ll be crazy,” writes one Reddit user. “youre going to get a really big rush and sell out of most calendars by 10am-noon. the rest of the day is just telling people you are out.”
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So at the very least, it sounds like the worst will be over in the first half of the day. And given the concentrated window of high demand, this is a great reminder for customers to be polite as we ask about the calendars, and not to take out any of our disappointment on the employees themselves. They’ve had to deliver the bad news all day.
Other users laid out some additional precautions and organizational systems that their stores have adopted in light of the advent calendars’ popularity.
“Tickets are handed out starting at 8 am,” explains one user. “Ppl will probably start lining up outside early af... Our manager is keeping the pallets of alcohol advents in the back room so they can make a line and recieve them that way... and they can only buy them if they have the tickets for it.”
What does it say about our frenzied shopping habits that customers must be fenced off from the merchandise and handed one item at a time to avoid a stampede? Or does it say more about ALDI’s approach of treating customers like shoplifters by default? Whatever the case, employees can get caught in the middle.
“I hope your store hands out numbers to avoid fights!” one Reddit user cautions. “The wine and beer ones will sell out fast, in the first hour. Deep breath, stay calm!”
Stay calm—that’s a good mantra for us all. If you don’t get your hands on the advent calendar you wanted, don’t despair. There’s always Costco, online shops, independent retailers’ take on advent calendars, secondary markets like eBay, or, if all else fails, there’s always next year. It’ll be 2023 before we know it.