18/05/2016 - 13:59

Aldi ready for big June opening

18/05/2016 - 13:59

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Damien Scheidel says Aldi will provide strong opportunity for local producers. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Aldi continues to gear up for the June opening of its first four Perth stores, with its $60 million distribution centre in Jandakot receiving stock and Western Australian producers lining up to supply the fast-growing supermarket chain.

Emergency Services Minister and member for Jandakot Joe Francis was on hand today with Aldi WA managing director Damien Scheidel to officially open the distribution facility, which was built by local construction contractor Georgiou Group.

The 45,000 square metre facility created around 500 jobs during its construction, while it will also provide work for an additional 400 full-time employees.

Mr Scheidel, who said Aldi had sold more than $80 million in WA grocery products in the last financial year, also announced two new local suppliers today – Newtown Orchards and WA Farm Fresh.

Aldi is committed to supporting Australia, with the majority of our fresh food and exclusive brands made locally and a focus on local sourcing to provide our customers with the freshest produce,” Mr Scheidel told reporters.

“Our WA stores will create expanded opportunities and new relationships for farmers and manufacturers.

“We look forward to growing together with these and other WA businesses to provide high quality products to shoppers every day.”

Aldi will open its first WA stores on June 8, at Mirrabooka Square Shopping Centre, Belmont Forum Shopping Centre, Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City and Kwinana Marketplace.

The supermarket chain is likely to open around 20 stores by the end of 2016.

Mr Francis said he expected big flow-on effects from Aldi’s presence in the market, pointing to Andrew Forrest’s $20 million investment into Harvey Beef, to expand it to supply Aldi, as an example.

“When you look at where Aldi has been established, they end up with a cult-like following,” he said.

“I’ve seen what Aldi does for the retail sector everywhere they have opened and the people that benefit from Aldi’s investment, in every single state, has always been the consumers through greater competition and far more jobs.”

Mr Francis said Aldi’s entrance to the WA market could not have been possible without the deregulation of trading hours in the state to allow Sunday trading.

“I’ve never believed it’s the role of any politician or government to tell someone when they can and can’t open,” he said.

“You should be able to open when you make money, shut when you don’t and the consumers should dictate the trading hours.

“When you have that, you have an amazing competitive mix in the consumer space where people will invest in retail shops.”

Mr Francis also said Aldi’s commitment was a signal of confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the WA economy.

“This (distribution centre) is a very expensive build, it created hundreds of jobs just building this plant alone, not to mention all of the stores, all of the fitouts and all of the people who have worked supplying goods and services to Aldi, from truck drivers to people who package meat,” he said.

 “It’s a massive investment and if the WA economy wasn’t heading in the right direction, they probably would have delayed it.” 

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