Woolworths and Coles Pressure Emerging Competitor Aldi To Sign The Grocery Code Of Conduct

Getty/ Matt Cardy

Aldi, which is expected to open its 339th store in Australia before the New Year, has been targeted by grocery giants Woolworths and Coles, who want it to comply to a grocery code of conduct as the retailer’s growth begins to pose a threat to the two largest supermarkets in the country.

Aldi stores managing director Tom Daunt has rejected allegations by Woolworths which suggest Aldi is infringing on suppliers’ intellectual property by copying their products and packaging.

He told the Australian Financial Review that Aldi’s hesitation to sign is due to concerns doing so will increase industry costs and push up prices for consumers.

“There are other aspects of the code in the draft relating to ­compliance that risk burdening retailers and specifically Aldi with unnecessary compliance cost and burdens,” Daunt told The AFR.

“We are generally supportive of a code that levels the playing field but equally we want to make sure any code that is agreed to can be complied with and is easily administered and doesn’t result in any additional costs for customers.”

Aldi is expected to discuss the issue in a public consultation in the first quarter of 2014.

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