German hypermarket Kaufland has revealed its intention to expand into Queensland as it continues to build a local team ahead of an anticipated launch Down Under.
Australia’s newest supermarket entrant filed an application for a store in Queensland’s Toowoomba last week, amid ongoing speculation about its strategy for taking on established players Coles, Woolies and Aldi.
The German-headquartered company, owned by the world’s fourth-largest retailer, Schwarz group, has been planning its Australian expansion for some time, previously locking down store locations in South Australia and Victoria.
This has not come without controversy though, with local business owners protesting development applications filed by the company in Melbourne, concerned another international supermarket is coming to eat their lunch.
The latest Queensland application was filed last Friday with Toowoomba’s regional council for 353-359 Anzac Avenue, Harristown.
Interestingly, the application is described as a “shopping centre hotel and food and drink outlet”.
Kaufland is known internationally for its large-format stores, called hypermarkets, which are pitched as a one-stop-shop offer for customers.
The business already has more than 1,200 locations in Europe, generally in a 3,000-4,000 square metre format.
Kaufland is also known as a key rival for Aldi overseas, driving speculation its launch in Australia will be bad news for the German chain, which controls just over 10% of the local grocery market.
Queensland had previously not been mentioned by Kaufland as a market for initial expansion, with previous planning efforts confined to southern states.
The application came in the same week Kaufland initiated its latest hiring spree, opening applications for nine jobs in Melbourne, including buyers and project specialists.
“Apply now and start tomorrow!” the ad reads.
Initial estimates of Kaufland’s likely impact on Australia’s $103 billion supermarket industry suggest the retailer could amass $480 million in local revenue within a few years.