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Aldi to invest $1bn in revamp and expansion

 

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The growth of Aldi Australia looks set to continue with the company set to spend over $1 billion on revamping and expanding its stores over the next four years.

The move will see the German discount chain offer more to compete with Coles and Woolworths with new store openings and refurbishments, as well as centralising its buying unit. Aldi Australia’s current produce buying is done by each state and the supermarket says the centralising move will mean better quality produce for its customers.

In a statement the company said that new store formats that it has trialled this year will be rolled out to all its existing stores by 2020.

“This will allow for a more pleasant and efficient shopping experience, while also catering for an expanded range across our fresh meat, produce and health categories,” the statement said.

In 2015 Aldi’s sales increased by around 11 per cent to $6.7 billion and reports suggest similar growth this year to take the supermarket past $7 billion in sales.

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Aldi currently has about 450 stores across Australia, with plans to open close to 25 new stores on the east coast by the end of this year. The supermarket chain currently holds more than 260 liquor licences nationally, with liquor available in selected Aldi stores in NSW, ACT and Victoria. Unlike other supermarkets, Aldi does not have detached or large format liquor stores and does not carry any chilled alcohol products for immediate consumption.

Retailbiz sister publication TheShout reported last month that the retailer hit a bump when its latest liquor licence application in Western Australia was refused, although Aldi did tell TheShout that it is planning to appeal that decision.

Aldi told TheShout: “Aldi began to offer liquor in our Victorian stores in 2003 and since this date, our offering has become a familiar and convenient part of a standard household shop. Our goal is to bring this same convenience, efficiency and quality range to shoppers in Western Australia.

“Aldi is applying for liquor licences at a number of potential store locations, including Butler and Wattle Grove. Aldi are currently assessing those licences and their conditions, after receiving conditional approval.

“As a responsible and experienced retailer, Aldi strictly observes all regulations for the purchase of alcohol and partners with DrinkWise Australia as part of this commitment. Its range is carefully selected and limited to a small segregated and clearly delineated area within store, approximately one quarter of the size of a standard bottle shop.

“This means that the liquor area is covered by excellent surveillance, alcohol purchases must be made during the limited opening hours of the store and customers must enter the Aldi supermarket environment to purchase liquor.”

Aldi Australia chief executive Tom Daunt told News Limited that he expected the company’s market share to grow from just under 10 per cent currently to 15 per cent within a few years.

“I would expect in the years to come that east coast growth will slow down a little bit as our store network increases,” Daunt said.

“I know our competitors think differently, but we are really not here to conquer the world, and we just want a sustainable, profitable, solid business that enables us to deliver ongoing value to our customers.”

This story originally appeared on The Shout.

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