You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dick Smith blames Aldi for SPC dumping

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Petrina Berry

Australian veteran retailer Dick Smith has blamed Aldi's aggressively low prices for forcing Woolworths to dump well-known Aussie tinned tomato brand SPC Ardmona.

Woolworths on Tuesday said it will buy its tinned tomatoes from another Australian supplier after deciding not to renew its canned tomato deal with Shepparton-based processor SPC Ardmona.

The supermarket giant also did not confirm whether it will stick with a five-year canned fruit deal it signed in 2014 that kept SPC Ardmona afloat and saved hundreds of jobs.

Mr Smith said people should not blame Woolworths for its decision because it was only trying to compete with Aldi's low prices.

He said that, in the grand scheme, the real problem was "our system of extreme capitalism, with its need for perpetual growth".

Mr Smith said Aldi was now one third the size of Coles and one of the smartest and most ruthless retailers in the world.

"It's clear that Woolworths and Coles will have to either replicate Aldi, that is, move to around 90 per cent home brand products and reduce their product selection from over 20,000 to just a few thousand, while sacking most of their Aussie employees, or they will be sent into bankruptcy," Mr Smith said.

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Aldi, with its incredibly low overheads - they hardly employ any Australian staff - and its private ownership in Germany - they don't have the high costs of public listing - will mean they will eventually send one or both of our Aussie shareholder owned food retailers out of business."

The businessman behind spreads that carry his namesake said Aldi's cheap prices was also behind Woolworths' decision to discontinue Dick Smith's Australian Grown strawberry jam.

He said his strawberry jam sells for $1.61 per 100g, while Aldi's imported equivalent, St. Dalfour, sells at $1.41 per 100g.

SPC-manufactured IXL jam sells at 72 cents per 100g, while Aldi's equivalent Grandessa product from Belgium sells for nearly one-third of the price at 28 cents per 100g, he said.

Woolworths on Tuesday said it was in discussions about volumes and prices for the coming season, something it does every year.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon