Australians have embraced German discount supermarket chain Aldi since it opened in 2001, but have been left wanting more discount grocery outlets to set up shop locally, research reveals.
A survey by consumer research group Canstar Blue Customer Satisfaction Ratings showed that 85 per cent of respondents agreed that the presence of Aldi was good for Australian shoppers.
But it also revealed that 74 per cent of people said they would like to see another supermarket chain like Aldi open in Australia soon.
Speculation is mounting about when and where rival German discount chain, Lidl, will open its doors, as it continues to expand its portfolio of registered trademarks in Australia.
An Aldi Australia spokesperson told The New Daily that Australians were keen for an alternative place to shop and said the company wasn’t worried by the extra competition.
“We accept competition as a healthy part of the retail landscape, and are committed to providing Australian customers with everyday low prices,” the spokesperson said.
“Aldi is and will always be the price leader in the market. This is our most fundamental competitive advantage and we will never ever give this away.”
According to channelnews.com.au Lidl is believed to have established an office in Australia, while its brand name was registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission in 2014.
Documents lodged with IP Australia showed Lidl was also seeking protection for its company logo featuring its blue, red and yellow colours that now dominate the high streets and shopping centres of Europe, The Australian reported in June, 2015.
Since that time, details about the chain’s anticipated move into Australia have been scarce.
The supermarket is expected to offer quality discounted groceries, homewares and electronics to local shoppers, similar to Aldi.
“Aldi’s success in Australia won’t have gone unnoticed by Lidl, so it seems almost inevitable that it will also set up shop here in the not too distant future. It would be crazy not to,” Canstar Blue chief Megan Doyle, said.
Consumers would switch if given the chance
Out of 3000 people surveyed, 59 per cent indicated they would shop at a discount supermarket store if one opened close to their home.
That number jumped to 77 per cent in South Australia and 80 per cent in Western Australia.
This comes amid reports Aldi will open up to 80 new supermarkets during the next 12 months, including its first stores in SA and WA.
“As part of our expansion plans, Aldi conducted in-depth research into the needs and wants of shoppers in these states. This research has revealed a strong appetite for an alternative shopping experience that consistently offers high-quality products at permanently low prices,” the Aldi Australia spokesperson said.
Ms Doyle said that Aldi had completely changed the supermarket landscape, and for many people, there would be no going back to the more expensive supermarkets.
“Consumers have had a taste for cutting grocery costs and now they’re hungry for more,” Ms Doyle said.
“Even those who don’t shop at Aldi can benefit from its presence because of the way other supermarkets are reacting to the challenge.
“It’s helping to make us all a bit more price-conscious when we get to the checkout.”
Consumers in their 30s most ‘bargain-hungry’
Another study by Canstar Blue in July, 2015, revealed that consumers aged in their 30s were the most likely to switch supermarkets in the search for better value.
Shoppers in this age group were found to most likely pick where they shopped based on the prices of basic products such as milk and bread, and were more likely to buy private label products over big name brands
It found that Aldi shoppers spent an average of $126 on their weekly shop.
Compared to about $134 for those who shopped at Coles, $142 at Woolworths and $150 at IGA.
In October, The New Daily reported that Aldi planned to expand a rollout of new-look stores in a bid to capture middle-income earners who shopped at the big chains.
A handful of stores across the nation have already been transformed into posh-looking shopping spaces, giving customers better access to fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy, and offering better product display, lighting, large silver freezers and check-outs.
But the executives at the German chain assured the changes would not result in price increases.
“The Aldi proposition is particularly appealing to young couples and families at a time in life when they are planning and making some of their biggest financial commitments, so the prospect of cutting grocery costs is a major draw,” Ms Doyle said.
“They are the floating voters of supermarket shopping and the most likely to take the no-frills option if it’s available. And as we know, more Australians will have an Aldi store close to them in the near future.”
A Coles spokesperson refused to comment when contacted by The New Daily.