Sure, we love Aldi but do we love it this much? 209



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The great Aldi expansion is moving south-west with the German supermarket chain announcing today it will open 20 new stores in South Australia and a further 20 in Western Australia by the end of the year.

While it’s been great having Aldi in the Eastern seaboard states to break up the traditional supermarket duopoly, the move into WA and SA is a symbolic turning point for the Australian grocery sector.

The move into SA and WA will affect Woolworths and Coles, for sure, but these states have, until now, retained  independent supermarkets, which have stronger support than independents in the eastern states.

It’s expected Aldi’s move into WA and SA will affect thousands of independent stores as much as the big chains.

Metcash, which supplies IGA, Foodland and other smaller chains, has been forced to write off more than $600m against the value of its flagship food and grocery division, according to The Australian.

But the chief executive of Metcash, Ian Morrice, said independent supermarkets in WA and SA have invested and planned ahead for Aldi’s eventual arrival.

He said these states boasted some of the “finest retailers in the country” and were better prepared than the rest of the country for battle.

“I think they are ready, able and willing to put up a big fight for the position they hold in the ­market. It’s not quite as commanding a position in WA, but nevertheless (they are) some of the best IGA operators in the country. And I think they have been gearing themselves up and getting equipped for new ­competition,” said Mr Morrice.

Aldi now has 350 stores, earning $5.3 billion a year in sales. UBS has forecast Aldi could snatch between $250m and $350m of annual sales from Woolworths, Coles and Metcash over the next five years. Since 2001, Aldi has opened up to 28 stores per year along the east coast.

While it’s been great to have Aldi help us break up the Coles-Woolworths duopoly, the German chain did not expand to this country for that reason – it came to make money. Will we still love Aldi if it wipes out our independent stores?

Tell us about the Aldi in your area – is it good for business? Do you shop there? Do you think the expansion into SA and WA is a good thing? 

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  1. Wait until Lidl arrives in Australia. A big rival chain store to Aldi in Europe. They are expanding to Australia and is going to give all the super chains a run for their money.

  2. Even on a budget, buying Australian is important to me. I read labels thoroughly and I’m also concerned that profits stay here.

  3. Brilliant stores; I drive 15k from home to Byron bay just to get best quality foodstuffs at 30% cheaper at Coles or Woolworths!

  4. We live in a small town with Aldi Woolworths and IGA — it does not bring prices down and as they brought their senior management with them. They do not offer a full range of employment to people in the area. It is owned by one family in Germany ….They now sell some australian produce reportedly 70%. However much of their stock is cheap import unknown brands. The chain’s pricing policies push Australian food producers out of business, A Senate inquiry into Australia’s food-processing sector was advised that competition pressure from foreign-owned retailers made it harder for local producers to sell to Australian supermarkets Coles and Woolworths. Aldi has a greater turnover of stock and consistently offers below-cost products from overseas. Local producers can’t match the low prices and are pushed out. The milk pricing war – sparked when Coles slashed the price of milk to $1a litre – was a response to competition pressure from Aldi and US-owned warehouse store Costco. These pricing practices made it hard to compete against famous brands – including Cottee’s, Arnott’s, Golden Circle and Edgell – that were now foreign-owned. — I am also on a budget but will not support these practices.

    9 REPLY
    • Farmers don’t profit from high prices on the supermarket shelves, they just make a bigger profit at the check-out. The big two were screwing farmers long before Aldi appeared on the scene

    • There prices are because they buy big. You don’t have the product range. They have 2 or 3 products in the range. Hence the cheaper prices.

    • Their cheese is Bega and is great I buy from Aldi and find a lot of their products are. Fine I don’t buy everything I don’t buy meat as I said a lot I don’t buy do I go to Coles and my fresh food I buy. In Shepparton from local grown farmers

    • And Woolworths and Coles have Australian products??? Where??? Woolworths have squeezed local manufactures off their shelves, not a week goes by where another product has disappeared. I love Aldi and a good percentage of their products are Australian made. The suppliers have already said Aldi is fairer to them than Woolies or Coles. We have been ripped off by these two supermarkets for so long, this competition is so overdue.

    • A lot of the profits Coles & Woolies make is for shareholders, maybe people who have super in these shares can’t have it both ways. Something to ponder about. Where your investments are going, letting your brokers do what they want, you be in charge. It’s called apathy.

    • Shareholders have the option to make ethical investments it is also greed —the Senate report makes very interesting reading on the subject of Aldi . Woolworths an Australian Company founded in the 1920’s. Coles Supermarkets, commonly known as Coles, is an Australian supermarket chain owned by Wesfarmers. Founded in 1914 in Victoria, IGA owned by Metcash- Metcash supports independence. Our portfolio of independent Australian retailers protects the diversity of local communities.

    • Linda, have you checked the packaging on Coles and Woollies products? All their own brands are imported, they don’t support Aussie producers at all. It’s all about the profit margin with them

    • This becomes a circular argument A large majority of Aldi’s products are also imported. I buy Australian made where ever I can and support local farmers and australian businesses.

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