Zone reforms in Victoria pave the way for ALDI expansion
Planning zone reform in Victoria has paved the way for German-owned supermarket ALDI to expand its store network in the State.
The issue of zoning and its impact on supermarkets goes back several years. In November 2009, Australian Food News reported that the Australian Federal Government was set to work with States and Territories to ensure planning laws did not “unjustifiably restrict competition in grocery retailing”. In its Grocery Inquiry report in 2008, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had found that planning and zoning legislation restricted competition in the supply and use of retail space. This finding was backed up by the Productivity Commission in its report on The Market for Retail Tenancy Leases in Australia.
Victorian zoning changes
Victorian State Planning Minister Matthew Guy opened ALDI’s newest supermarket, at Cheltenham in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs, on Wednesday, 22 October 2014, highlighting the importance of planning zone reform in encouraging business investment and job growth for Victoria. ALDI said the Cheltenham store was the first of seven planned openings made possible by the Victorian Government’s 2013 planning reforms.
“For Victoria to continue to be a business leader and an attractive place to invest we must have the right conditions in place to encourage growth,” Minister Guy said. “The opening of ALDI’s new store in Cheltenham is another demonstration of business confidence and is a fantastic example of how the reformed commercial zones give our businesses incentives to invest,” he said.
The $6 million ALDI store will employ between 15 and 20 locals and will provide a significant boost to choice and services for the people of Cheltenham and neighbouring areas, with over 85,000 people in Bayside suburbs such as Hampton, Sandringham, Black Rock, Beaumaris and Brighton.
ALDI’s ‘ambitious’ growth strategy for Victoria
ALDI Dandenong’s Managing Director, Damien Scheidel, praised the planning zone reforms and the further development the reforms have enabled.
“ALDI has an ambitious growth strategy for Victoria, which will see a network of at least 200 stores, adding another 1,500 direct jobs plus many additional indirect jobs,” Mr Scheidel said.
“The 2013 planning reforms have enabled us to schedule seven new openings,” Mr Scheidel said. “These will be in Cheltenham, Mentone, Dromana, Springvale, Traralgon, Altona North, Epsom Village and will add 105 people to ALDI’s current Victorian workforce of over 2,300,” he said.
“The Cheltenham store alone will see 15 new employees join ALDI,” Mr Scheidel said. “It will also deliver much needed competition to the local supermarket sector and lower prices for consumers,” he said.
The new store is located at 280 – 282 Bay Road, Cheltenham. Opening hours will be 8.30am–8pm Monday to Friday, and 8.30am–7pm on weekends.
ALDI Australia opened its first stores in January 2001. Today, there are more than 350 stores along the east coast of Australia and development is underway for South Australia and Western Australia.
Planning reforms allow retail expansion
Minister Guy said the planning reforms meant commercial zones were seeing more action, allowing the State’s dynamic retail industry to expand to meet changing consumer needs and providing certainty about where stores may be developed.
“Bricks and mortar retailers are now better placed to compete with online retailers, leading to the creation of new jobs,” Minister Guy said. “These new commercial zones encourage jobs in the suburbs, reducing commuting pressures over time, contributing to the idea of a 20-minute city, one of the key priorities of Plan Melbourne,” he said.
“Consumer choice, business investment, jobs for locals – that’s what we want to encourage and see more of across the state of Victoria,” Mr Guy said.