Dick Smith has slammed German retailer Aldi for ripping off Australians and taking away billions of dollars from competing supermarket chains.
Known as one to not hold back opinions, the entrepreneur expressed his outrage in an open letter to owners Karl Albrecht Jnr and Beate Heister following the news that Aldi was in fact Australia’s most trusted brand.
While Woolworths and Coles didn’t even make the cut for the top 10, Aldi reigned supreme, impressing people with its reliability and customer focus.
However, this hasn’t gone down well with Dick Smith, who questioned Aldi motives and fast expansion in the Australia, news.com.au reports.
“You are privately owned, so it is not possible for Australians to share in the wealth creation of your company, and you also don’t have the costs of publicly listing on the stock exchange which could result in the employment of many additional Australians,” he exclaimed.
Showing his support for other retailers including Coles, Woolworths and IGA, Smith said the company is not helping struggling Aussies who are trying to get work, by employing less workers.
“We already have a problem in Australia,” he said. “We have 14 per cent youth unemployment and over 20 per cent youth underemployment – that is where our young people can’t get a proper full time career.”
Aldi Australia Chief Executive Tom Daunt hit back at the claims, saying the company employs more than 11,500 Australians. But Smith is not backing down, taking his fight to the next level by holding a press conference in Sydney on the matter on Thursday.
Read more: Dick Smith unleashes on Aldi
Aldi responded to Smith’s accusations in a statement that read: “We proudly support an Australian first buying policy and have shared our growth with hundreds of Australian manufacturers and thousands of staff who have been direct benefactors of our business growth.
“We are proud of the reputation we have built and feel strongly that the recognition we have earned as Australia’s most trusted brand is a result of our commitment to openness, honesty and integrity in all our dealings.”
This isn’t the first time the entrepreneur has targeted Aldi, with the business man in 2016 launching a furious attack on the supermarket giant, calling the chain store “greedy” and accusing them of sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Germany instead of pouring it back into the Australian economy.
“Aldi is one of the smartest and most ruthless retailers in the world. Their greed is unlimited. Aldi Australia is no one-third the size of Coles and they haven’t opened in Australia for charitable reasons. They are here to eventually take hundreds of millions of dollars out of our country and repatriate this money to Germany,” Smith said.