Aldi customers resort to extreme measures as impact of 'shortage' takes hold

For weeks now customers have been wondering where shopping baskets have gone.

Aldi customers are resorting to drastic measures as a “shortage” of shopping baskets sweeps across one Australian city.

Multiple customers were spotted last week carrying their groceries around the store in boxes after what's understood to be a spike in thefts of baskets across Aldi stores.

The scene was witnessed at Westfield Eastgardens store in Sydney — with many avoiding trolleys due to the supermarket’s coin deposit trolley system. It’s understood the supermarket is working as quickly as possible to replenish their supply of missing baskets. A trolley full of boxes had been left at the entrance of the store next to where baskets normally are.

A woman holds a box containing groceries (left) while a row of shopping basket stands lay empty (right).
One of many Aldi shoppers spotted carrying boxes for their groceries in store while multiple basket stands stood empty at Westfield Eastgardens. Source: Supplied

The short supply of baskets was witnessed across several Sydney stores including Waterloo, Eastgardens and North Strathfield. Staff members in-store have speculated theft is the reason behind the lack of baskets, though this has not been confirmed by Aldi who have declined Yahoo’s request for comment on the matter.

It’s understood CCTV is in place across all stores as a security measure and illegal activity, including theft, is acted upon.

Aldi introduces shopping baskets to customers

It was only in April, 2022 that Aldi announced all of its stores would feature shopping baskets — an initiative highly anticipated by shoppers. An Aldi spokesperson confirmed the change to Yahoo News at the time. "We recognise that Australians are looking for greater convenience when they visit our stores. To make it more efficient for our customers to do a smaller grocery shop, we will be introducing shopping baskets across all of our stores," the spokesperson said.

Supermarkets crack down on theft

While other supermarkets continue to invest in anti-theft technology as the cost-of-living crisis continues to have a grip on the country, Aldi appears to take a more hands-off approach.

Coles and Woolworths have rolled out multiple security measures, including cameras, smart gates and even trolley-locking technology, whereas Aldi's self-service checkouts operate without a responsive weight plate used to detect items wrongly placed in the baggage area.

While Aldi is renowned for its cheap prices, it too has been forced to increase prices as financial pressures continue to bite. The supermarket does however remain a firm favourite among Australian shoppers, and has been named the country's favourite supermarket six years in a row in Canstar's Supermarket Satisfaction awards.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.