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German supermarket tycoon Albrecht dead at 94

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm •  Published: July 21, 2014
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BERLIN (AP) — Karl Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world's richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94.

Essen's city hall told The Associated Press that Albrecht was buried Monday in a family plot in a small ceremony in the city's Bredeney district where he lived. Aldi's press office said Albrecht died July 16.

"He created a corporate culture of mutual respect, he trusted his employees and their talents, and he gave them a chance to use them," said Aldi spokeswoman Kirsten Gess in a statement. "Our sympathies are with his family."

Albrecht and his brother Theo, who died in 2010, both worked in their parents' grocery store as they were growing up.

After both serving as German soldiers in World War II, the two took over the business and began a rapid expansion. By early 1960 they were operating some 300 stores.

After splitting the company into two, the brothers in 1962 rebranded the group Aldi — a contraction of "Albrecht Discount" — with Karl Albrecht leading Aldi South, and Theo Albrecht taking Aldi North. They still worked together, using their combined bargaining power to negotiate lower purchasing prices.

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