What you need to know about Kaufland: The HUGE new German supermarket chain coming to Australia

The German supermarket stocks up to 60,000 products and is set to challenge the big supermarkets; Aldi, Woolworths and Coles as well as the Harvey Normans, Bing Lees and the JB HiFis of the world.

Your weekly supermarket bill could soon get a whole lot cheaper — with German powerhouse Kaufland set to spark an all out price war. The low cost super chain has started a high level recruitment drive in Australia – and has its sights set on more retailers than just Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.

In retail terms Kaufland is Aldi on steroids, but aesthetically the German version of the site has the feel of the Ikea of food. A clean, straightforward design that offers products such as 250g of sustainably sourced, salted and dried salmon for less than five Euros.

And according to Dr Gary Mortimer from QUT business school, Kaufland is likely to be a huge competitor to Aldi.

“Aldi has owned the low cost food and grocery market, certainly for the last 15 years, but I think all of that is about to change,” Mortimer said.

Wherever Kaufland hypermarkets have launched — price wars have followed., so prices could potentially plunge by 10% or more.

“Kaufland, clearly are going to be pushing the prices down very very hard,” said Neil Rechlin from Nextgen group.

“The food range that they’re going to offer, is clearly going to compete with Woolworths and Colesbut at Aldi prices.”

And in a sign of just how serious Kaufland is about Australia, it’s been on a major recruitment drive, poaching Mark Hewlett from food distributor Metcash – a retail superstar who’s also worked for Woolworths, Aldi and German cut price chain Lidl.

Kaufland’s model is more like a Costco than a supermarket but on an even larger scale. While an Aldi typically stocks 1500 items and Coles and Woolworths stock up to 25,000, Kaufland holds up to 60,000 — and not just in supermarket groceries. They also have electronics, homewares and clothing on their shelves.

“Their televisions are going to be competing with the Kogans, potentially, the JB HiFis the Harvey Normans, so all of those mainstream retailers are going to be under pressure,” Rechlin said.

And Kaufland has another way to hit Aldi where it hurts — taking on its popular, but heavily criticised special buys.

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The Aldi special buyers are limited which means customers can miss out.

“So shoppers line up for hours only to miss out on those weekly specials,” Mortimer said.

“When Kaufland arrive, those weekly specials will be available all through the week and it won’t be limited volumes.”

And those special offers could be coming sooner than you think, because Kaufland could be open in Australia before Christmas.

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