ALDI’s price vow as COVID-19 axes popular Special Buy sale

 

 

EXCLUSIVE

ALDI has boldly vowed it "will never be beaten" on the price of the weekly grocery shop, as it assured shoppers it would keep buying Australian and prices as low as possible.

In an unprecedented open letter to customers published in News Corp papers today, CEO Tom Daunt said the chain was "acutely aware" many Australians were facing financial uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"At a time when it matters most for Australians, we will not waver on our commitment to keep our prices low and keep saving you money," he wrote.

"As our regular customers know, for almost 20 years ALDI has been building long-term partnerships with Australian primary producers and manufacturers.

"Our unique business model and these partnerships allow us to provide high quality products at the lowest prices."

Mr Daunt told News Corp buying patterns had returned "close to normal", contrary to the weeks of panic-buying the country witnessed.

"We've seen so much change in the grocery space … if you go back we saw one of the worst droughts on record and we faced a huge challenge with the bushfires, and we've seen a huge decline in the value of the Australian dollar," he said.

 

Tom Daunt, CEO of ALDI Australia, pictured in one of their stores in Waterloo in Sydney. Picture: Britta Campion
Tom Daunt, CEO of ALDI Australia, pictured in one of their stores in Waterloo in Sydney. Picture: Britta Campion

 

He said many suppliers had been affected, but ALDI has worked with Australia's biggest chicken suppliers to make their product more affordable for shoppers.

Now, chicken breast in bulk has gone down in price from $9.49 per kilo to $7.99 per kilo and a whole chicken has been slashed from $3.49 to $2.79 a kilo.

"There have been real challenges in the chicken industry which has lost business from cafes and restaurants," he said.

"We have worked with Ingham's and Baiada, to help lower the price of chicken, to provide a benefit to them and our customers."

But the recent lockdown has also affected ALDI's popular snow and ski gear sale, which has been axed this year.

The winter sale usually sees thousands of shoppers line up out the door every year.

ALDI personally wrote to Australia and New Zealand ski resorts, letting them know the sale would not go ahead as it didn't feel it was appropriate.

 

Aldi, Waterloo during a big sale of ski gear. Picture: Jenny Evans
Aldi, Waterloo during a big sale of ski gear. Picture: Jenny Evans

It has also stopped selling travel items including luggage.

"We've delayed that it'll be back bigger and better than ever next year," Mr Daunt said.

"Given the closure of the ski fields that was the last thing we needed."

But Mr Daunt said that most Special Buy product availability has also returned to normal, after the German supermarket giant was forced to prioritise grocery deliveries to all of its stores.

 

Panic buying at Aldi back in March. Picture: Supplied
Panic buying at Aldi back in March. Picture: Supplied

 

"The Special Buys program is a huge part of our business model, there were several weeks of short term impacts but that has changed now," he said.

Unlike its rival Coles, which has blitzed TV viewers with cooking segments during ad breaks featuring celebrity chefs who make easy dinners during the pandemic, Mr Daunt said ALDI won't be engaging in the same tactics.

"We tend to steer away from celebrity chefs and fancy marketing campaigns in favour of keeping our operations simple and passing that value on to customers," he said.

"It's the less high profile way, even the little bit more boring way of doing business, but it is appreciated by our customers and people in time become fanatical about the value we can deliver," he said.

Contrary to Coles, which has said restrictions on toilet paper may soon be lifted, Mr Daunt said its limits on other items including tissues, paper towel, dry pasta, flour, dry rise, hand sanitisers, eggs and liquid soap would continue.

Last week, ALDI received 4.2 million toilet rolls alone.

 

Originally published as ALDI's price vow as COVID-19 axes popular Special Buy sale


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