One of Australia’s favourite business men Dick Smith has launched a furious attack on supermarket giant Aldi, 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.
The letter came after it was revealed Woolworths would be ending its deal with local fruit supplier SPC Ardmona, with Mr Smith laying the blame squarely on Aldi.
“Don’t blame Woolworths for the SPC Ardmona disaster,” he wrote. “Blame ourselves and capitalism as it gets to the limits of greed.
“Credit rating agency Moody’s are not stupid. They are actually spot-on when they stated that Aldi’s ‘maturing’ customer base spells big trouble for the established players. Nothing could be closer to the truth.”
He went on to say Aldi was undercutting the rest of the market and accused it of putting the Australian market in jeopardy.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Aldi with its incredibly low overheads — they hardly employ any Australian staff — and its private ownership in Germany — they don’t have the high costs of public listing — will mean they will eventually send one or both of our Aussie shareholder owned food retailers out of business,” he said.
“Aldi is one of the smartest and most ruthless retailers in the world. Their greed is unlimited. Aldi Australia is now 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.”
Aldi has become a firm favourite with shoppers since it landed in Australia thanks to its low prices and cost-saving techniques. However, Mr Smith says this will all come back to bite us in the butt and basically accused them of contributing to our obesity problem.
“It’s clear that Woolworths and Coles will have to either replicate Aldi, that is, move to around 90 per cent home brand products and reduce their product selection from over 20,000 to just a few thousand, while sacking most of their Aussie employees, or they will be sent into bankruptcy,” he said.
“Of course, as Aldi becomes more successful with lower and lower food prices Australians will become more and more obese with the associated health problems.
“And who will pay for that? Yes, Aussie taxpayers. Not the Albrecht family in Germany. And Australian parents, don’t think your children will have a ‘first’ job stacking shelves at your local retailer. There will virtually be no jobs, as the Aldi formula is designed for very low staffing levels.
“So don’t blame Woolworths or Coles and don’t even blame Aldi. It’s simply our system of extreme capitalism, with its need for perpetual growth. It will be so sad for our children.”