Aldi’s entrance into Armidale is putting pressure on Coles and Woolworths, and things may get worse for the supermarket giants if Aldi moves to build a service station in the city, a university researcher says.

University of New England professor John Rice said the major supermarkets in town would be feeling Aldi’s impact and petrol could be the next big battleground.

“Aldi has acquired a site that could have the option to co-locate a petrol retail operation with them,” he said.

“I think that will be the next wave of competition from Aldi. They will push into petrol.”

Much of Aldi’s success comes from not trying to be too diverse.

They are also known as a purchaser that forms strong relationships with their suppliers.

Woolworths and Coles offer an enormous range or products, but must also manage the logistical challenge this presents.

“Woolworths have been a very aggressive player in terms of their supply arrangements,” professor Rice said.

“For example, if you take a look at their milk refrigerator, they have a lot of their own branded milk, but then they have more expressive brands, specialty milk, A2 and goats milk.

“The logistics of managing that are very complicated.

“And that’s just in milk, you can replicate that across the entire product range.

Professor Rice said Aldi now offered a viable alternative to customers.

“I think they have made a very deliberate decision to buy a green field site and draw customers away,” he said.

Extracted in full from Armidale Express.