Aldi shoppers will soon be buying budget designer fashion in Australia should the discount supermarket giant launch a wildly successful scheme from its German stores.
Last week, Aldi announced a discount designer clothing range from renowned fashionista Jette Joop would be arriving for its German shoppers.
Aldi Australia sells clothing on a fleeting, special offer basis in Australia, but could we see the discount store stock high-end, low-price items in the near future?
Queensland University of Technology retail watcher Dr Gary Mortimer told The New Daily that if Aldi was to introduce high-end budget adult clothing in Australia, like overseas, it would not be permanent.
“As a one-off special we might see Aldi promote a brand like that [Joop!, in Australia], but it won’t be a permanent strategy,” he said.
The New Daily asked Aldi Australia if it planned to sell high-end budget fashion for adults.
In a lengthy response, the discount chain would not confirm or deny plans for high-end budget fashion in its Australian stores.
“In 2015, ALDI collaborated with Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan to design the Young Hearts collection [for children],” the statement read (it can be seen in full at the end of the story).
“We regularly feature fashion as part of our popular bi-weekly Special Buys.
“Customers love the surprise element of Special Buys and are given a preview of the products one week before they are in store.”
The Joop! announcement in Germany came after a similar Joop!-designed discount Aldi line went on sale in April, sending local shoppers into a frenzy.
The Joop! range sold for between $A11.95 and $A29.85, but items surfaced on eBay at inflated prices almost instantaneously.
Aldi has sold clothes in Australia before, but only a limited range.
These have included ski wear, Bonds’ baby jumpsuits and Collette Dinnigan discount-designer children’s clothes, sold in brief spurts since Aldi Australia launched in 2001.
Aldi’s high-end fashion ‘risk’
Dr Mortimer explained it was unlikely Aldi would permanently sell clothes, let alone designer ones.
“I don’t think Aldi’s model in Australia is designed to move permanently into apparel and general merchandise,” he said.
“I think at times Aldi will bring in Special Buys clothing.
“But expanding into apparel permanently would be going into competition with places like K-Mart, and that might not be a battle Aldi wants to fight.”
Aldi’s move into high-end fashion at a low price comes after designers like Stella Mcartney and Jean Paul Gaultier have had success with discount lines at Target.
Dr Mortimer said there was a risk for budget outlets selling designer clothing or products.
“Aldi may do it as a one-off specials. But the risks are that you’re confusing your target customer. And not just for Aldi – when Collette Dinnigan did it for Aldi there was a bit of negative publicity around her cheapening her brand too.”