Supermarkets challenger Aldi is saving Australian shoppers more than $2 billion a year on their national grocery bill, according to a new report.
The data – produced with the help of business advisory firm PwC – also found Aldi delivers a massive $3.3 billion in benefits a year to the national economy, mainly through its production and supplier partnerships.
“We’ve created careers for thousands of employees, driven enormous growth for private label manufacturers in Australia, and directed billions of dollars into the national economy via real estate, store construction, wages, business partnerships and taxes paid to government,” Aldi Australia chief executive Tom Daunt said.
Aldi, a global and private family company based in Germany, also credits its presence in the highly competitive food and grocery sector in the past 18 years in Australia for driving down prices for consumers.
By comparing similar baskets of goods, the report found Aldi customers saved $2.2 billion a year, compared to the other major supermarkets.
“Aldi [also] had a downward force on the price of all groceries resulting in savings of $450 million for customers that chose to shop elsewhere,” the report added.
Aldi opened its first Australian store in 2001 and now has more than 500 dotted around the country, except for Tasmania and the Northern Territory. It commands just over 10 cent of the grocery market.
However, the German company might soon have competition, with the arrival in Victoria of aggressive German supermarket Kaufland, which could appeal to Aldi’s low-cost shoppers.
Aldi CEO Tom Daunt told ABC News 24 customer demand would determine future growth and the opening of new stores.
“Every other week we have a letter from councillors or residents of Rockhampton begging us to come to Rockhamton, which we are about to do,” said Mr Daunt.
“Our growth is a little bit dictated by where customers would like to see us.
“We have to strike balance between ensuring we don’t grow too much, that we have a sustainable business that continues to offer great market-leading value to customers while still being convenient enough to shop on a regular basis.”
Mr Daunt said he could not put a figure on the company’s growth projections for the next decade.
“The honest answer is I’m not sure,” he told ABC.
“I think you will see some more growth from us but our objectives are not really growth oriented; they are about the ongoing improvement of our range, further extending the quality advantage we have and further improving the price.
“I accept it sounds odd coming from a CEO but growth is kind of secondary.”
In an earlier interview Mr Daunt told The Sydney Morning Herald he was unfazed by the challenge from Kaufland.
“Whether it’s a new large-format hypermarket format like Kaufland or an online player like Amazon, generally competition is good for customers and results in better quality products and more affordable prices,” he said.
“I don’t see any big adaptations for our business.”
Meanwhile, supermarket giant Woolworths said on Thursday its third-quarter grocery sales were up 4.2 per cent, thanks to lower deflation and more favourable weather conditions.
Comparable grocery sales for the 13 weeks to March 31 rose 4.2 per cent to $10 billion, after adjusting for the timing of Easter. Total group sales from continuing operations lifted 5.1 per cent to $14.90 billion.
The grocery sales growth was an improvement on the first half’s 2.3 per cent.
Earlier in the week, Woolworths’ major rival, Coles, reported 2.2 per cent comparable supermarket sales growth for the third quarter. Coles credited much of the increase to its Fresh Stikeez promotional campaign, which “drove high customer engagement” in the 12 weeks to March 24.