Aldi cancels Special Buys in locked down areas after backlash

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Aldi Australia will stop selling some of its popular Special Buys in areas that are locked down due to the current Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney.

Generally Special Buys are released in stores across Australia every Wednesday and Saturday, regularly attracting hundreds of customers and prompting crowds and long queues before the stores even open.

aldi store special buys
Some Aldi stores are scrapping Special Buys. Photo: Getty

But now select special buys won't be sold in areas in lockdown, which includes all of Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast, Shellharbour on the NSW south coast and the Blue Mountains.

"As the lockdown continues, we have expanded our measures to protect our customers," Aldi Australia confirmed to Yahoo Lifestyle in a statement.

"By analysing historic sales data, we are removing a range of high-demand Special Buys, like weighted blankets, TVs and outdoor furniture, from our Wednesday and Saturday on-sale dates in stores located in NSW lockdown areas. We will be communicating the products each week to our customers.

"We understand that specific Special Buys drive increased demand and we believe pulling these offers will reduce the reason for someone to leave their home outside of the need to do essential shopping. "

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Aldi Special Buys spark frenzy

Earlier this year in May, videos and photos were shared online showing very long lines outside of a western Sydney store and insane scenes inside, as customers neglected to follow social distancing protocol.

At the time many Aldi shoppers labelled the frenzy - over an $89 eight litre air fryer and cast aluminium pots and pans - 'disgusting'.

long queue for aldi special buys in may
Video shared to Facebook showed very long lines outside of a western Sydney store back in May. Photo: Facebook

Though strict lockdowns had been eased in May, other Covid-19 measures including social distancing were still in place.

This latest decision comes after Aldi received intense backlash from radio shock jock Ray Hadley, who accused the supermarket chain of being "irresponsible" for continuing to market the Special Buys during lockdown.

SRadio personality, Ray Hadley
Ray Hadley lashed Aldi for being 'irresponsible'. Photo: Getty

"It's like a plague of locusts when people queue up to get there," he said during his morning radio show on 2GB, going so far as to call out Aldi's CEO Tom Daunt. "Pull your heads in!"

Ray's outburst was in response to a listener's photo of a packed Aldi in Blacktown the day after an apartment building in the suburb was sent into total lockdown under police guard to deal with a Covid outbreak.

The supermarket made a similar decision back in September when it decided to pull four large-sized Special Buy items from all its Victorian stores over lockdown restrictions.

Aldi was set to sell kitchen appliances, kitchen gadgets as well as food items for Oktoberfest as part of its Special Buys catalogue on 9 September, but instead the Smart Wi-Fi 3L Thermo Cooker, the 16L Multifunction Air Fryer, the 14 Place Stainless Steel Dishwasher, and the Electric Oven 80L we unavailable.

aldi store
Some Aldi stores won't be selling Special Buys in lockdown. Photo: Getty

"We apologise for any disappointment this might cause to our Victorian customers," Aldi said in a statement at the time.

"We understand that not all our Victorian stores are under Stage 4 restrictions, but we believe it is the right thing to do to ensure the safety of our community in this challenging time.

"We look forward to bringing these products back at a later date."

Sydney lockdown extended

On Thursday Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced NSW will be in lockdown for a further four weeks until August 28.

The number of areas of concern in Sydney have been extended, placing restrictions on workers in eight Local Government Areas (LGAs), which now include Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Cumberland, Liverpool, Parramatta, Campbelltown, George's River, Blacktown.

The state announced 177 new locally acquired cases on Wednesday – the highest daily total of the current outbreak.

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