Aldi could become South Australia’s first supermarket to sell alcohol, applying for liquor licences for six stores in the state.
The retailer has been unable to stock alcohol in its SA stores since entering the local market in 2016. This is due to laws around the sale of packaged liquor in SA, which state that a licence can’t be granted for “premises ordinarily known as or advertised as a supermarket, convenience store or delicatessen.”
The current applications for liquor licences in the Hawthorn, Adelaide Airport, Aldinga, Victor Harbor, Newton and Blackwood stores are not packaged liquor licences though. Instead, Aldi are applying for a producers licence.
A producers licence is “for businesses that produce their own liquor or sell wholesale liquor,” according to the SA government website. It’s usually granted to allow producers to sell from their cellar door or through their own websites.
It’s believed that Aldi has applied for this licence as it teams up with local breweries, wineries and distilleries to produce its range, something that has already proved successful in other states.
Viktor Jakupec, Managing Director of South Australia for Aldi Australia, said the company has pushed for these liquor licences due to strong public advocacy.
“The public of South Australia have spoken very loudly through social media and in other forums, regarding their strong support for ALDI operating its liquor service in SA,” Jakupec said.
“Aldi began to offer liquor in our Victorian stores in 2003 and since this date, our offering has become a familiar and convenient part of a standard household shop.”
Aldi Australia was named Liquor Store of the Year at the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction awards last year, voted on by consumers themselves. Considering this, it’s understandable that a public push would be the reason for the retailer to look at expanding from the roughly 300 stores that sell alcohol in NSW, ACT, VIC and WA.
It’s been a hard fought expansion into liquor retailing for Aldi, with multiple licensing battles around the country across the past decade.
The six liquor licences have been set down for hearing on 18 December.