By David Salvaire
WA’s Independent grocers aren’t worried about supermarket giant Aldi making an aggressive move into the state.
The German supermarket chain plans to invest $400 million over the next two years opening more than 70 stores across WA.
Independent supermarket owners like Maddie Hookway say they won’t be affected by the multinational’s arrival.
“I don’t see Aldi being a problem. I think it’s something people will try for a little bit then move away after a while,” says Maddie, who owns the Beaconsfield IGA.
“All the people I’ve spoken to over east say the same thing – it’s not a long-term issue for us.”
Consumer advocate group Choice has published a report saying shoppers could save up to 50% by shopping at Aldi.
The study found shoppers would spend around $175 at Coles or Woolworths on a basket of selected goods, whereas equivalent products from Aldi would be just under $88.
John Cummings from the WA Independent Grocers Association says the report is misleading.
“This report focuses on non-branded products, it doesn’t take into account all the other things that people need,” he says.
“Aldi only sell their house brands, they don’t sell any branded products like IGA and the consumer wants brands.”
Despite the glowing report of Aldi’s prices, Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey says their limited range of products may keep consumers away.
“The thousand or so products on the shelves of Aldi stores are miniscule in comparison to the tens of thousands of products stocked by the major chains,” he says.
While metropolitan IGA owners aren’t troubled by Aldi, Mr Cummings says there could be consequences for rural and regional businesses.
“We all have to agree that competition is good but if you go to a country town where there’s a single IGA, when Aldi move in there then it’s bad news for them,” he says.
“There will be winners and losers and they’re a major player not to be underestimated.”
Choice’s survey comparing average basket prices of Coles, Woolworths and Aldi:
(no. of stores)
|Savings from specials|
|Aldi private label (n=18)||$87.68||$87.57||$0.11 (<0.5%)|
|Coles private label (n=32)||$114.24||$113.75||$0.49 (<0.5%)|
|Woolworths private label (n=32)||$119.40||$118.56||$0.84 (1%)|
|Coles leading brands (n=32)||$174.97||$162.56||$12.41 (7%)|
|Woolworths leading brands (n=32)||$176.77||$172.16||$4.61 (3%)|
*Basket made up of 28 leading brand products or their private label equivalents across all three chains plus three fresh food items. VIA – Choice.com.au