The supermarket wars are about to intensify with German discount chain Lidl preparing to open its doors in Australia, bringing more choice for consumers.
Lidl is seen as the chief competitor to discount chain Aldi across Europe and the UK, and was ranked by Deloitte as the fourth-largest retailer in the world with $128 billion in annual sales.
Last week, Lidl was named Grocer of the Year for the first time in its 21-year history at the prestigious Grocer’s Gold Awards in London, stealing the title from Aldi.
The German supermarket is now on its way to Australia, bringing quality discounted groceries, homewares and electronics to local shoppers.
It is due to open its doors later this year, with its first location tipped to be Melbourne, A Current Affair revealed.
Confirming its arrival, The Australian reported Lidl had recently contacted logistics providers to help create a network of distribution centres and transport links to shift food, groceries and merchandise around Australia.
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE spokesman Tom Godfrey said they welcomed the entry of another discount chain to take the fight to Coles and Woolworths.
Mr Godfrey said it would create more choice for Australian consumers.
“I think it’s going to have a big impact on price across the market,” Mr Godfrey told The New Daily.
“They are going to be very aggressive when it comes to price, and will push quality at an affordable cost.”
What does Lidl offer?
Similar to Aldi, Lidl adopted the “no-frills” supermarket approach.
Shoppers select products direct from open cartons, off pallets and deep freezers. Staffing is minimal, there are no loyalty schemes and you pay for carry bags.
Unlike Aldi, Lidl offers a small range of premium brands and a strong range of high-end wines.
Locations for the Lidl stores were not yet confirmed, but Mr Godfrey suspected it would follow in Aldi’s footsteps after its success across Australia’s east coast.
It was believed Lidl had established an office in Australia, while, its brand name was registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission in 2014, according to channelnews.com.au.
Documents lodged with IP Australia showed Lidl was also seeking protection for its company logo featuring its blue, red and yellow colours that now dominated high streets and shopping centres of Europe, The Australian reported.
More affordable options
Mr Godfrey said a recent study by CHOICE revealed 75 per cent of Australian shoppers were feeling ‘the pinch’ at the check-out.
He said for a long time shoppers had been bombarded by Coles and Woolworths jingles about how affordable their prices were.
But were they really?
“I think the supermarket chains spend a lot of money trying to convince consumers that their ‘prices are going down, down, down’ and their prices are so cheap,” he said.
“But Aldi and Lidl actually provide things in store that are cheaper.
“A German juggernaught is coming to town – and (they know) the best way to get value is to deliver it in the supermarket and not just chirp about it on TV.”
A recent CHOICE supermarket basket survey found consumers could cut their grocery bills in half by shopping at Aldi.
Mr Godfrey said with the pending addition of Lidl, Australian shoppers would have more choice at less the price.
“This latest news will take the pressure off consumers, and those struggling to make ends meet,” Mr Godfrey said.