Karl Albrecht obituary: Aldi co-founder dies aged 94

Karl Albrecht died on Wednesday 16th July, aged 94
Karl Albrecht, the billionaire co-founder of the Aldi discount supermarket chain, died on Wednesday 16th July, aged 94.

The growth of Aldi, the name of which is a contraction of Albrecht Discount, made Karl Germany’s richest man, and 24th richest in the world, with an estimated fortune of $25.9bn (£15.2bn), according to Forbes.

Karl, who was born in 1920 in Essen, built up the Aldi empire after World War Two along with his younger brother Theo Albrecht, from a single grocery shop owned by their mother Anna Albrecht in their home town.

The brothers divided Aldi in Germany in the 1960’s, with Theo controlling northern Germany under Aldi Nord and Karl controlling southern Germany under Aldi Süd. Aldi further expanded into a range of markets including the UK, US and Australia.

Karl resigned as Aldi Süd chief executive in 1994, and stood down as chairman in 2002.

Karl and Theo were known to be reclusive, particularly after Theo was kidnapped in 1971 and held for ransom.

Karl Albrecht had two children and six grandchildren.