SYDNEY, Australia—This week, Aldi launched its Aldi Corner Store in Australia, a new concept store with a smaller footprint, News.com.au reports. One retail expert said the concept “made sense” for the supermarket chain.
The move follows similar store designs from competitors like Woolworths Metro and Coles Local stores. The smaller Woolworths and Coles units have fewer products with a focus on ready-to-eat items, prepared foods, dinner ingredients and other pantry staples, along with on-site coffeeshops.
“We know that Australians are looking for new and convenient shopping experiences, especially in densely populated areas, so we are exploring a smaller format store in North Sydney under a new store concept name: Aldi Corner Store,” a spokesman said. Aldi indicated the Corner Stores would have different layouts but didn’t specify whether the concept would include similar specials as those offered at regular Aldi stores.
“I imagine they are banking on the return to ‘localism’ we have seen. With continuing lockdowns, many of us are working from home and now shopping local,” Professor Gary Mortimer, QUT retail expert, told the news outlet. “What is interesting, is that after 20 years of being innovators in the sector, they appear to be adopting a follower strategy. The rollout of self-service registers and dipping their toes into online, now Corner Store formats. … While it makes sense to sit back and cherry pick the initiatives that work, the risk is that as you roll out [your] version, the market leaders have moved onto something else.”
Meanwhile, Woolworths had to shut down some of its Metro locations because of falling sales. “Sales in these locations [CBDs and transit hubs] have been, and remain materially negatively impacted by COVID,” the company said.
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