Competition could be set to heat up in the Australian supermarket sector amid ongoing speculation that German retailer Lidl is looking into launching in the local market.Earlier in the year, it had been reported that Lidl was eyeing an Australian launch, and speculation persists that it is considering entering the market.
Fairfax Media has reported that Lidl is applying for trademarks covering hundreds of products, with it having recently held talks with the Victorian government, and believed to have reached out to suppliers.
As reported by Fairfax, this year Lidl, which has applied for thousands of trademarks since 2000, has applied for dozens of trademarks, last year having applied for trademarks including Lidl Phone and Lidl Connect.
While Woolworths and Coles dominate the local market, Lidl’s German rival Aldi has made significant inroads since its launch in 2001.
Roy Morgan Research figures from earlier in the year showed that, as of December 2015, Aldi held a 12.1 per cent share of the total supermarket market, with Woolworths holding a 37.3 per cent share and Coles a 32.5 per cent share.
As for a timescale towards launch, Lidl, which operates in a number of markets around the world, has given no indication as to its plans.
“I don’t think you can ever say never, but it looks unlikely in the next five years,” Fairfax reported former Aldi veteran Paul Foley, who helped Aldi set up in Australia, as stating.
“Lidl has got its hands full or its pockets empty. It is concentrating on new European markets and the huge investment it’s going to make in the US. And the further away that new market is from existing markets, the more expensive it is.”