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# Karl Albrecht

Random fact: Hobbies included golf, raising orchids, collecting antique typewriters.

Overview

Albrecht was the owner of Aldi Sued, Germany's second-largest closely held discount grocer. The Essen-based company operates 4,800 stores and had about $50 billion in revenue in 2013. He started the business with his brother Theo, from whom he split in 1960. That branch of the family controls Aldi Nord, owner of the Trader Joe's supermarket chain. He died in July 2014.

As of Sept. 22, 2017:
Last change ()
YTD change ()
Industry Retail
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship Germany
Age 94
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

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Biography

Birthdate: 2/20/1920
Family: Married, 2 children

Karl Albrecht was born in Essen, Germany, in 1920 to Karl Albrecht Sr., a miner, and Anna Albrecht, who owned and ran a local supermarket. Albrecht Jr. served in the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War and was wounded on the Russian front. He returned to Essen in 1946 with younger brother Theo to take over their mother's grocery shop. By 1953, the brothers had expanded to about 30 discount supermarkets under the name Albrechts.

In the early 1960s, with 300 stores in the Essen region, Albrechts supermarkets went national. The company's name was changed to Aldi (Albrecht-Discount). The brothers subsequently split Aldi into two separate companies: Aldi Sued and Aldi Nord. Theo took the northern part of West Germany, plus western and southern Europe. Karl owned and operated the stores in southern and southwest Germany, the U.S., U.K., Australia and Eastern Europe.

Aldi Sued's retail conquest outside Germany started in 1968 with the opening of a store in Austria. The retailer expanded rapidly in the following decades. The first U.S. store opened in 1976, followed by the U.K. in 1989 and Australia in 2001. Aldi Sued operates more than 4,800 stores generating $50 billion in annual global revenue.

Albrecht stepped down as Aldi Sued CEO in 1994 and as chairman in 2002. He shunned public life since Theo was kidnapped in 1971. Theo died in July 2010, at age 88. Karl divided his time between Essen and his villa in Germany's Black Forest before his death in July 2014. He was married with two children and six grandchildren.

Milestones
  • 1913 Mother Anna founds grocery shop in Essen, Germany.
  • 1920 Born in Essen to Anna and Karl Albrecht Sr.
  • 1946 Takes over mother's grocery shop in Essen with brother Theo.
  • 1960 "Albrechts" renamed Aldi and split in separate companies.
  • 1962 Brother Theo opens first Aldi store in Dortmund, Germany.
  • 1968 Aldi Sued opens first store outside West Germany in Austria.
  • 1971 Theo kidnapped; family pays 7 million deutsche mark ransom.
  • 1973 Creates the Siepmann trust to manage the family wealth.
  • 1976 Aldi Sued opens first store outside Europe: in the U.S.
  • 1994 Becomes Aldi Sued chairman and steps down as CEO.
  • 2002 Steps down as chairman of Aldi Sued.
  • 2010 Brother Theo dies; sons Berthold and Theo Jr. inherit Aldi Nord.
  • 2012 Nephew Berthold dies. He leaves behind wife and five children.
  • 2014 Karl Albrecht dies in July.