Discounts Down Under

In Australia, Aldi Upends Rivals With No-Frills Stores, Low Prices

A fair dinkum discount! Source: AP
A fair dinkum discount!
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Australia’s supermarket sector was long dominated by two players, but Aldi is hoping to expand across the country and build on its success.

  • Facts


    • Aldi only entered the Australian market in 2001, but already has 350 stores.
    • The discount chain’s minimalist offerings have gone over well with Australian consumers.
    • Shoppers can even find Haribo gummy bears at the same place where they are kept in German stores.
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The German discount supermarket chain Aldi recently received some rare negative press in Australia.

The company neglected to tell consumers at the checkout that there was a 0.5 percent surcharge for credit card purchases, complained the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Aldi got off lightly – with a reprimand that it must pledge to inform its customers both better and earlier.

But managers at Aldi Australia will hardly lose sleep over the matter. The company is a rising star in the Australian food retailing business. The discount chain is even planning to expand from the heavily-populated eastern coast to the more sparsely populated western and southern parts of the country.

The German company only came to Australian shores in 2001, but since then has built a network of 350 stores. It has been directly challenging market leaders Woolworths and Coles, which together control about 90 percent of the about 85 billion Australian dollar (€59.4 billion) supermarket sector.

If Aldi’s expansion continues at the same pace, the company could increase its sales in Australia from A$5.3 billion to A$9.3 billion, according to a recent study. “Aldi’s entrance into Australia has been an overwhelming success,”said UBS analyst Ben Gilbert.

Entering an Aldi store in Australia, one is immediately reminded of the stripped down, no-frills branches in Germany. The layout, colors, and advertisements, everything looks familiar. The products are often German and Haribo gummy bears can even be found in each store on the first shelf, on the bottom left, just like in Germany.

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