Kaufland begins hiring its Aussie liquor team

Kaufland begins hiring its Aussie liquor team

European grocery chain Kaufland is seeking liquor staff ahead of its Australian launch. 

The world's fourth largest retailer, which opened its first story in Germany in 1984, has grown to operate almost 1300 stores with 150,000 employees across seven European countries.

It plans to begin construction on its first six Australian stores in Chirnside Park, Dandenong, Epping, Oakleigh South, Coolaroo and Mornington next year. It is also seeking a property developer in Parramatta. 

Planning documents lodged with the Victorian government reveal that the supermarkets will have a total retail space of 4000sqm, with at least 3600sqm of grocery and merchandise shopping space and liquor stores that take up about 10% of the stores.

The company is currently advertising on Jora for a Property Officer - Liquor Licensing to manage and execute the license program across all Australian state as "with Kaufland as we make our mark in Australia".

The candidate is required to have previous experience in dealing with councils regarding liquor licensing and DAs; plus "exceptional knowledge of state-based liquor regulations, specifically VIC, SA, NSW & QLD".

Kaufland wrote on its website: "With our Australian headquarters based in Melbourne and state offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, we are well positioned for growth and establishing high performing teams to deliver stores that offer a wide range of competitively priced fresh, grocery and non-food items."

The new liquor chain threat coming to Australia

While it's been compared to ALDI, Kaufland stores are around 15 times bigger and stock more than 40,000 grocery and liquor brands, compared to only around 1300 at ALDI.

One thing both German retailers have in common is that their products are cheap.

Kaufland hired former Metcash Executive General Manager Retail Mark Hewlett as its chief operating officer in March.

Before joining Metcash, Hewlett was national head of operations for Woolworths' $7 billion petrol and convenience store business. British-born Hewlett also worked at Kaufland's sister chain Lidl in the UK more than 15 years ago, where he managed stores and worked in property, logistics and commercial.

Retail consultant Brian Walker told News Corp last year that Kaufland posed the most serious threat in Australia to ALDI, but would also take business from Coles and Woolworths.

Walker, who heads Retail Doctor Group, said he expected the retailer to open 20 to 25 stores over the next five years.

“They are going to go hard and fast — they make their money by volume and they’ve got to get scale,” he said.

“They will be very aggressive on price, very aggressive on product and they are going to appeal to that Aldi, Costco buyer.”

Coles sends scouting team to Germany

Coles CEO Steven Cain recently revealed to Fairfax Media that Coles sent a reconnaissance team to Germany to look at Kaufland operations there.

"We had a team looking at Kaufland what they do over there, what they might bring over here," he said.

"Obviously when they come to Australia we’ll be prepared and making sure our offer is the best in town

Merry Christmas from Kaufland

Kaufland has sent a Christmas message to Australia ahead of its launch Down Under, posting a festive ad on YouTube. 

Watch its Christmas ad below: 

Share the News