German discount supermarket Aldi is preparing to start its aggressive expansion into South Australia, with the chain confirming plans to open an eight hectare distribution and warehouse centre.
The warehouse will be located in Regency Park and will cater for around 50 new Aldi stores.
The site is expected to see 150 new jobs created and in March last year The Australianreported Aldi’s distribution centres in SA and Western Australia could cost more than $500 million.
The project is still subject to building approvals and is expected to be completed in 2015. It is the first step in Aldi’s expansion to South Australia, which was first confirmed in 2013.
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Overall, Aldi anticipates its expansion to the state will see 900 jobs created and will secure $300 million in new investment for the state.
Job creation will be of utmost importance for South Australia in the next three years, as the departure of car manufacturing from Australia is tipped to hurt the state’s economy.
“We are eager to bring the ALDI difference to new markets like South Australia. Having investigated the future store network and benefits of the location in varying degrees, the Regency Park site presented as the best fit for our needs,” managing director of Aldi South Australia Viktor Jakupec said in a statement.
Aldi has around 7000 supermarkets operating across Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, the US, Ireland, Britain and Australia.
Details as to the brand’s financials are scarce, but it has been estimated its Australian operations turnover is more than $5 billion a year.
South Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning John Rau said in a statement Aldi’s expansion to the state is welcome.
“The benefits associated with ALDI’s decision to enter South Australia will be substantial. With a series of new permanent jobs and rollout of store openings, South Australia is looking forward to having the retailer enter the market,” Rau says.
Retail expert and Crossmark Asia-Pacific Holdings chairman Kevin Moore wrote in a blog for SmartCompany last year one of the key elements of the Aldi brand is its simplicity.
“There is everything you need to feed you or your family well and cheaply in an Aldi store, but with a very small range of items simplifying the need to choose. This simplicity of range is the backbone of convenience shopping, so it stands that it would work well in a CBD retail environment,” he says.
The retailer was criticised earlier this year for its Australia Day t-shirts, which it was forced to pull from sale after they were accused of being racist.
One of the t-shirts features the phrase “Australia Est. 1788”, particularly enraged consumers.