Supermarket giant ALDI has submitted plans to Brisbane City council to convert one of their Brisbane stores to a liquor barn.
The revelation comes as the German retailer fired a broadside at Queensland liquor licensing laws that currently prevent the state’s residents from buying drinks at the supermarket.
Documents obtained by 7News revealed ALDI’s big plans for the German giant’s Ashgrove store, in Brisbane’s inner-northwest, included the “conversion of the existing… supermarket tenancy to an ALDI Liquor Barn”.
“Aldi are kicking goals in the supermarket business, growing at a rate of knots and the alcohol business is a strong part of their mix,” retail expert Brian Walker said.
It is illegal to sell alcohol in Queensland supermarkets, forcing ALDI to instead open stand-alone bottle shops.
The legislation also requires the company to own a pub before it can be granted a liquor licence, which could also explain ALDI’s development application to build a tavern.
Yet following the revelations, the supermarket denied the move despite the plans being lodged with Brisbane City Council.
“This concept was explored as an option for Queensland customers but we can confirm we have no plans to do so,” an ALDI spokesperson told 7News.
ALDI have since asked for all the documents to be taken offline and the application suspended.
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If it does progress the development would be the company’s first push into Queensland’s alcohol market.
“ALDI is able to give the big guys a run for their money,” wine communicator Tyson Stelzer said.
While ALDI’s advancements with the plan remains a closely guarded secret, Mr Walker believes the move will be an unwanted presence in the market.
“It’ll engage these retailers into a price war effectively. ALDI will be very strong and aggressive in their pricing,” Mr Stelzer said.