Aldi Australia says it continues to explore opportunities to offer online shopping, however, it has downplayed media reports of an imminent move and says comments made by one of its executives were “slightly misconstrued”.
News.com reported today that Aldi “will begin offering online shopping to remain competitive with Coles and Woolworths in Australia” citing comments by Aldi’s director of customer interactions, Adrian Christie, speaking at a parliamentary inquiry into promoting economic dynamism, competition and business formation.
Christie said it is a “fundamental responsibility” for the retailer to keep the price of customers’ weekly shopping as low as possible.
However, Aldi told Inside Retail that while it is “keeping a close eye” on the e-commerce opportunity as it looks to maximise customer convenience there are no plans to launch online “at any point soon”.
“While we are always looking at the environment and considering an online experience, we won’t bring this forward until we have a model where associated overheads of e-commerce in no way compromise our ability to deliver low-priced groceries to Australians.”
During Covid, the retailer lost significant market share when lockdowns and movement restrictions saw many shoppers move online to buy groceries. But this year, amidst surging inflation and the rising cost of living, the retailer has rebuilt its market share as shoppers look to cut costs.
According to Australia Online Grocery Study and Report, 48 per cent of Australians are shopping online for food while 15 per cent have switched to ordering nearly all of their groceries online.
Last August, Aldi trialled a limited online shopping offer, allowing customers to buy some Special Buy items.
A spokesperson said the trial provided “valuable insight” into customer buying patterns however, it wasn’t the “right time” to expand.
Meanwhile, Neil Moody, GM of Focus Insights ANZ, said Aldi is making ground against its major grocery rivals as consumers shop around for value.
“Coming through Covid, Aldi didn’t do quite as well as retailers that had an online presence, but now the footfall into Aldi stores is really coming back. Most shoppers consider Aldi to represent the best value in the market in real terms,” he told Inside Retail’s sister publication, Inside FMCG.
“As people become more squeezed, they will go a little bit further to try to find value. Aldi is not necessarily the first choice shop for everyone, but I expect more consumers will start doing their main shop at Aldi and shop there more frequently to better manage their budgets.”