Winner of EFMD Case Writing Competition, 2020 in the 'Family Business' category

This case was selected as the Final Round III Case in the 8th Schlesinger Global Family Enterprise Case Competition, 2021, organized by The University of Vermont, Grossman School of Business, Burlington, USA.

Family Feud at Aldi Nord

'Enrich Not Exploit': Can New CSR Strategy Help Body Shop Regain Glory?
Case Code: BECG170
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2012-2019
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Adli Nord
Industry: Retailing
Countries: Germany
Themes: Family Business, dispute,succession planning
'Enrich Not Exploit': Can New CSR Strategy Help Body Shop Regain Glory?
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The Reclusive Billionaires

Theo married Cäcilie in the late 1940s. They had two children, Theo Albrecht Jr. (Theo Jr., born in 1950) and Berthold Albrecht (Berthold, born in 1954). Cäcilie also took an active part in the business with the brothers..

Aldi Nord and the Three Foundations

The Markus Foundation held 61% of Aldi Nord. The purpose of the foundation was to “to make one-off or ongoing donations to the beneficiaries and to maintain, promote and expand the group of companies established by the founder.” The foundation held the assets and trademark rights to Aldi Nord, which included the corporate headquarters, Aldi regional companies in Europe, and the properties of 5000 stores across Europe. It also held a 100% stake in Trader Joe’s. According to Theo Jr, “The purpose of the foundations is to provide the necessary liquidity, so that the company can perform its duties and live up to its obligations. The company depends on the capital from the foundations for its expansion abroad, to modernize stores and invest in the future.” ..

Point of Contention

Babette, Berthold’s wife, had started splurging money on luxuries a few years before the death of Berthold. He died when the couple was living in Grand Hotel Qullehof in the Swiss town of Bad Ragaz, where he was taking treatment for his liver problem. From that time, Babette stopped living by the rules of the Albrecht family..

Amended Articles

When the Jakobus Foundation was created, it was to have five members. Three were to be from the family, one from the management of Aldi, and one member was to be a lawyer or business consultant. After the passing away of Theo in 2010, Berthold, who was already ill, and Theo Jr. decided to amend the Articles of Association of the Jakobus Foundation and the Lukas Foundation in the interests of the company..

Cäcilie’s Will

Cäcilie died in November 2018. Her will was opened only in February 2019 and the contents of it were published by German weekly Bild am Sonntag only in April 2019. In her will, Cäcilie cited that Berthold had had doubts about the ability of his children to maintain the ethos of Aldi Nord..

Impact of the Feud

The feud had its impact on the image of the family, which had till then remained highly private, and even sued newspapers for publishing about them. “So to have this play out in public, in the German tabloids, to have them give interviews as has been the case on a few occasions, has been very, very shocking to Germans who are used to thinking of this family – despite the fact that they’re one of the wealthiest in Germany – as being essentially invisible..


Exhibit I: The Albrecht Family Tree
Exhibit II: Aldi Nord – Gross Revenues in Germany

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