European supermarket giant Aldi is set to challenge the duopoly in WA, when it simultaneously opens four stores in the metropolitan area in June.
Aldi stores will throw open their doors in Mirrabooka Square, Kwinana, Belmont and Lakeside Joondalup on June 8, backed up by another 16 stores later in the year.
The supermarket’s Jandakot airport distribution centre will begin receiving stock from next month and aside from consumers, the other big winners are set to be WA suppliers and job-seekers with some 400 jobs already created.
“This is an exciting time for the Aldi business and for local shoppers,” said WA managing director, Damien Scheidel.
“We know there is a strong appetite among local residents for an alternative shopping experience and we are eager to show them the difference Aldi can make to both their wallets and their lifestyles.”
Mr Scheidel said last year Aldi sold more than $80 million worth of grocery products from WA suppliers.
“Our expansion into WA will result in increased volumes, as well as more opportunities for other local suppliers to partner with us,” he said.
More than 90 per cent of Aldi’s core grocery range comprises exclusive branded goods. The majority of these are Australian-made.
The first stores will open in Mirrabooka, Kwinana, Joondalup and Belmont. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Aldi Australia’s sales are forecast to rise almost 90 per cent to $15 billion over the next four years.
Coles food and liquor sales are expected to rise 15 percent to $37 billion and Woolworths to rise 10 percent to $46 billion.
Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) chief executive Richard Goyder said Coles didn’t underestimate the big German retailer.
“As a whole company, they’re bigger than Wesfarmers,” he earlier told Fairfax Media.
“They’ve been in Australia for some time now and have become a significant player, particularly on the east coast.”
Mr Goyder said Aldi had an “offer and cost base” that worked with customers, but he felt Coles format still provided it with an edge.
“We find efficiency benefits on getting more people on the floor buying fresh products,” he said.
Coles employs 10,000 West Australians at 93 supermarkets.
But WA’s independent grocers are warning the big supermarket may be full of non-essentials, but it’s short on choice when it comes to everyday meat, fruit and vege.
President of WA Independent Growers Association John Cummings said any new competition would inevitably take away some market share from existing participants.
“Everybody is probably going to give up something – whether it’s the independents, Woolworths or Coles,” he said.
“But the important thing to remember is that you can’t get everything you want from Aldi.”
Mr Cummings said the giant retailer had relatively limited grocery and fresh produce lines compared with the existing players.
“Independents and the big two probably carry 10-20 times the range of Aldi,” he said.
“Aldi might carry 25 different cuts of meat, but the other supermarkets might alone carry 25 different types of sausages.”
“Aldi concentrates on its house brands and lower prices while we concentrate on more product and more choice,” Mr Cummings said.
The Aldi store openings form part of its long-term expansion plans, which will see up to 70 stores developed across WA and 1200 new permanent jobs. Twenty stores are expected to be open by the end of 2016.
Aldi will hire its 500th employee this week and there will be further recruitment later in the year.
WA’s first 45 store managers recently returned to WA after spending six weeks learning the Aldi processes. The company has also hired more than 340 trainee store managers and retail assistants.
Other confirmed Aldi store locations include Armadale, Australind, Butler, Camillo, Cannington, Ellenbrook, Halls Head, Harrisdale, Haynes, Lakelands, Maddington, Mandurah, Mundaring, Nedlands, Rockingham, Secret Harbour, South Lake, Southern River, Waikiki and Wattle Grove.