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Should JB Hi Fi Be Copying Aldi Specials?

Aldi’s Special Buys has been a roaring success in Australia with major brands now tracking to their doors in an effort to get cheap branded products ranged at a store where weird and whacky products have become an overnight success.

In some cases, brands such as Samsung, Ecovacs and Logitech are actually sourcing products to specifically sell in the Aldi stores with their logo on across Australia for the simple reason that Aldi can deliver volume as they have been since they first launched in Australia. Now several people are questioning as to whether JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman or The Good Guys should be following Aldi’s lead in the CE and appliance markets.

Some of these branded products are also run out stock from over supply. According to Ecovacs management the Company is now “sourcing specifically for Aldi”.

Other brands simply want to get their brand in front of the tens of thousands who shop at Aldi in the hope that a cheap branded model kick starts a relationship.

For many the weekly Aldi Specials Catalogue is an essential pick up at Aldi stores, with their special Isles becoming impulse shopping for tens of thousands every week while goods are percieved as cheap many are a similar price as mainstream stores.

If you ask most people, why they buy Aldi specials the chances are according to researchers is because they are seen as good products at ridiculously low prices.

Coles has been trying to copy the Aldi specials for several years with little success.

Some observers have even said that a stroll along an Aldi specials line is “like being on a treasure hunt.”
Right now, Aldi is slashing costs in their stores.

Management has pledged “to cut more prices than ever before in 2024” as it doubles down on its commitment to never be beaten on price, which is why Aldi’s name is not popping up in the Coles Woolworths price gouging inquiry of supermarkets.

The grocer said it will continue cutting prices “across a wide range of products wherever possible” and throughout the rest of the year as they did in 2023, as prices that had risen during COVID were very quickly reduced unlike their competitors Woolworths and Coles.

Aldi UK and Ireland CEO Giles Hurley said recently: “We know that shoppers remain under pressure from the cost of living, which is why we remain laser focused on offering the lowest possible prices.”

Unlike Coles and Woolworths Aldi pretty secretive bunch, and that includes how they decide on their Special Buys with suppliers sworn to secrecy.

They also hate returns with the emphasis placed on suppliers to iron out any potential problems with consistent quality control measures of goods prior to hitting their stores essential.

Retail Doctor’s Brian Walker once claimed that Aldi’s success in Australia was down to low prices and Special Buys.

The impulse to buy is often based on the perception that that Aldi only has a Special Buy product on sale for a limited time only and this creates a sense of urgency for shoppers to buy it now.

As one supplier said” The consumer is well aware that once Aldi Special Buys are gone, they’re gone.”

The reality is that if a product is successful Aldi will bring it back.

The quantities of items on sale via their Special Buys are specifically chosen for a specific reason with management only writing a purchase order for enough to keep things on the shelf for an estimated two-week period.

What Aldi rely on is global research on what is selling worldwide and in Australia local and global distributors some who have specifically set up operations in Australia to service Aldi, with products and this includes clothing, consumer electronics and work tools.

Next week the Hong Kong Fair is on, and this is where distributors and Aldi buyers flock to seek out the latest and greatest from predominantly Asian manufacturers of products that are also keen to get their products ranged at Aldi stores.

What the distributor to Aldi do is track what is hot and in demand and then find a cheaper version, a classic example is air fryers, headphones, or even wine coolers and then there are they’re in demand Ski specials where Aldi significantly undercuts some of the big brand ski brands right down to thermal underwear.

Some weeks Special Buys are themed, including consumer electronics, cooking, and gardening and this is deliberate and often based on the time of the year.

In Australia what’s key is getting the merchandise spread right for this market with summer gear being sold when the UK and the USA are flogging heaters and winter wear.

Many of the suppliers that I have spoken to claim that the likes of JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys should be copying Aldi’s lead with their own specials Isles.



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