Dick Smith unleashes on Aldi

One of Australia’s favourite business men Dick Smith has launched a furious attack on supermarket giant Aldi, calling the chain
Dick Smith has ripped into Aldi in a furious letter.

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.”

Do you think Dick Smith is right here, or is he out of line? Do you shop at Aldi?

    • Jean Kiem.  

      Dick Smith is always right….I, for one NEVER shop at Aldi !…..

      • Jo  

        Yes I am with Dick. It is good to have competition but the money should stay in the country.

  1. Jennifer  

    yes he is right, ok Aldi is cheaper in some things but why is the profits going overseas? The government should be stopping all our monies from leaving our shore. There will be no jobs for our grandchildren and their children if this continues. I shop as locally as I can and support the little business man and his family.

    • N Benson  

      It’s profits go overseas because it invested in your country. Just as an Australian owned company in the UK would send it’s profits back to Australia. Aldi provide a service to your countrymen and as such deserve their reward; it’s called capitalism and free enterprise. If you want socialism go live in North Korea and see how you like that.

    • Lesley Hotchkin  

      It’s the same deal with ikea.

    • Brian Lee  

      I hope you never buy anything on the internet, from America, China or Europe, because if you do you’re sending YOUR money overseas, just like Aldi! And don’t forget, Aldi pay millions of dollars every year in Australian taxes too – do you?
      Top that off with the fact that they sell Australian products, in fact about 80% of their stock is manufactured or grown here!

  2. Trevor Scott  

    Aldi is ok. You just need to be aware of what you are buying. We spread the shopping around in our small town. Each of the shops employs local people who give good service. What is Dick doing now? Sitting back enjoying the millions he made when he sold his electronics shop. So NO don’t agree with him this time.

    • Brigitte Haigh  

      I agree with you Trevor Scott. We do the same. I don’t think we need this scare mongering . Each to his own.

    • Aileen Clarke  

      What’s wrong with Dick Smith being a self made millionaire ? He put his own Aussie owned goods on the market and I gladly bought them knowing they were Australian made and owned, many of the packaged foods at Aldi are not. No one wants to pay high food prices, but where possible we should try to buy Australian to keep Australians in jobs.

      • Phil  

        His Electronic stores where he made his money was all Asian product not Australian, he is a total hypocrite, just as is Norman Harvey

  3. Maureen Davies  

    I never shop there we have two in Mornington. Now that’s greed I try to buy Australian hard to work out labels

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      You are wrong, Aldi’s products are mostly Australian. Diary, Fruit and Vegs, Meat, and so many other items, and they are far better quality then Woolworths etc own brands. They support the Australian Farmers not try and kill all the farmers off like Woolworths and Coles, etc.

  4. Maureen Davies  

    I never shop there we have two in Mornington. Now that’s greed I try to buy Australian hard to work out labels

    • Julie HOck  

      Maureen, Aldi stocks a large range of Australian products. Nothing difficult at all about reading the labels.

  5. Julie HOck  

    I dont know about the profits going back to Germany, but the quality and variety of products stocked by Aldi is excellent. i’m talking about local fruit, vegetables stocked , the dairy items, especially the yoghourt and cheeses, the butter etc. are mostly Australian produced. Coles and Woolworths do not always offer quality to justify the price. As to non Australians staffing the stores, that is nonsense!

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Julie yes I agree. I buy things at Woolworths occasionally when something on special. I love Aldi and the prices are cheaper and excellent quality. MAYBE SOME PEOPLE ARE STILL WORKING AND EARNING A GOOD WAGE BUT I LIVE OFF THE PENSION AND CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY EXTRA. ALDI meat has become too expensive for me now I go to a butcher where it is cheaper. Love fruit and vegs from Aldi. Very fresh and last longer than other supermarkets
      I think it just shows how much profit these supermarkets are making. I will not buy Woolworths or Coles own brand, do not like it and the quality is too poor. Aldi are producing most of there things in Australia..

    • VAL  

      Fruit and veg quality are great! Meat is catching up so they are putting the work in there, but no happy about all profits going back to Germany. I am sure our Customs take care of taxes on imported items. We can only trust them, its their job.

    • Lorraine  

      The products on the shelves are almost 100% Aldi home brands – Aldi have registered the Companies in Australia but they are still Aldi owned. Yes, fresh produce is fine but I will not support them. I would rather support IGA being local owners than Aldi who send their profits overseas.

  6. Wayne Watkins  

    Hang on Dick , almost every Australian has an Apple or Samsung mobile phone and all of that money goes overseas and you are flatout finding a local employed in their retail outlets . They are usually foreign working holiday people . Pretty sure Woolworths started in America , but Coles is Australian and before Aldi came this duopoly was ripping us off blind . Aldi support Australian farmers in their meat & vegetable sections and do not as far as I am aware screw our farmers down to the last cent like Woolies & Coles do . Even though these two have lowered many of their prices to try and get some customers back the average family weekly shop is still way cheaper with Aldi .

    • Marjorie Keech  


    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Hooray you are so right.

  7. Guy Flavell  

    I agree with the general idea that Dick is conveying, but can see no reason whatsoever why Aldi’s profits should not be returning to their German owners. That is providing they pay their full share of Australian taxation on said profits.
    Aldi are investing heaps into the Oz market and employing many, many Australians to boot. They are fully entitled to expect a fair return for all this investment.
    In addition, their competitiveness is definitely keeping the Aussie owned ‘monopoly’
    supermarkets honest in their pricing.
    Personally, I find Woolies to be the very best option for the pensioners and lower income people. As a pensioner I have received $130 in cash rewards over the past 10 weeks. I’ve been able to take advantage of their weekly half-price offers and stock up on expensive essentials like coffee, etc. Add to this the 4c a litre petrol discount. Plus, their far greater range of choice as that available at the Aldi’s stores.
    However, I am dismayed and frankly astonished that Woolies have removed the SPC tomatoes from their range which will mean the loss of many jobs in the Shepparton area … very sad indeed and Woolies need to be publicly vilified for this rotten decision.

  8. Mark  

    His argument is flawed, at least as it concerns low costs contributing to obesity. What evidence supports this? Aldi’s offers a variety of nutritious foods, particularly fresh produce, at costs that are affordable to low-income individuals. One might just as easily argue that Aldi’s can combat the obesity epidemic by offering low-cost, quality produce to families in low-income neighbors, families who otherwise may not be able to afford produce. This claim would need evidence to support it too, however. Mr. Smith seems smart enough to know his claims should be backed up by evidence. The article does not cite any statistics or figures to support his claims.
    Furthermore, his argument contradicts itself by stating Aldi’s is a symptom of capitalism, but then bemoaning the decreased variety offered in their stores. Capitalism promotes variety, with aisles and aisles full of goods some might deem unnecessary. Aldi’s lack of variety is one of the reasons I prefer shopping there. It’s far more simple than what I would consider the more capitalistic super markets with shelves full of nonsense.

  9. Georgina Bellizzi  

    I shop at Aldi ,because I am not a millionaire,like Dick. Maybe it’s up to the goverMent, to make sure they are charged the right amount of tax. Instead of charging us poor people tax for everything.

  10. Alan Murphy  

    Woolworths and Coles over the years sent thousands of small businesses bankrupt with their predatory pricing policy’s, as for employing young Aussies well they have been reducing staff levels over the last 20 odd years, the government must introduce better tax policy’s so that all these businesses pay their fair back into the country

  11. Steve  

    Unfair attack on Aldi. Woolies and Coles have been ripping off consumers for years. Things will never be fair or just in big business. And as far as the obese comment, don’t you think that’s more to do with McDonalds, Hungry Jack’s and the likes and lack of education toward eating habits.

    • Trish Bolton  

      Totally agree Steve. I love Aldi as a pensioner I can afford things I can’t from Coles & Woolworths.

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