By Andrew Starke
Supermarket chain Aldi has denied weekend reports that its decision to sell beer and wine at extremely low prices would result in greater discounting and more alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
While not denying Sunday Telegraph allegations that it would sell beer for as little as $1 (and 80c for a can of light beer) at its NSW stores, a spokesperson for Aldi rejected suggestions its entry into the NSW alcohol market would result in a price war with Coles and Woolworths.
Aldi is in the process of making applications for liquor licences to sell alcohol in its NSW stores.
So far the Casino Liquor and Gaming Control Authority has approved 34 licences with more to follow over the remainder of the year.
According to the Sunday Telegraph report, beer prices at Aldi stores start at $8.99 for a six-pack of Smith Clyde Lager to $19.99 for a carton of Storm Brewing Premium Light Beer.
Four-litre casks of wine are available for less than $9 and bottles of sherry are sold for under $5.
However, an Aldi spokesperson rejected the notion that its entry into the NSW alcohol market would result in cheaper alcohol and increased consumption of liquor.
“Aldi is a responsible retailer and does not participate in two for one or quantity based promotional discounts,” she said.
“Research has shown that the majority of alcohol related anti-social behaviour incidents occur between 9pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, around late night trading premises such as hotels and entertainment venues.
“The ALDI concept is very small compared to traditional bottle shops and is tiny in comparison to the large format stores.
“We only sell a small range of products (approximately 70 items) at prices comparable to those of Dan Murphy’s and First Choice Liquor.
“We do not sell refrigerated products and our stores are not open as late or as long as regular bottle shops.”
She added that the Aldi approach to marketing is conservative and stressed that the supermarket would not be entering into a liquor price war.