Frantic bargain hunters across the country lined up for hours waiting for Aldi stores to open to snap up cheap snow gear at the retail giant’s winter sale – but not everyone left a happy customer.
With the supermarket chain’s annual sale marked on the calendar of thousands of Australian snow enthusiasts, savvy shoppers braved the cold and lined up around the block at some stores.
But the early birds got their worms.
Shoppers who arrived early enough took home waterproof jackets for $59.99, goggles from $14.99, gloves for as little as $4.99 and boots for less than $30.
This year, customers came prepared with a game plan to ensure they did not leave empty-handed amid the frenzy.
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Sunshine Coast woman Emily Wood, who was shopping at the Maroochydore store for gear for an upcoming New Zealand trip, saw a tactic some used she believed was unfair.
“I started to notice a lot of trolleys being filled to the brim with things and I saw people going through their trolleys, trying things on and dumping stuff they didn’t want,” she told News.com.au.
“They had clearly gone in with a trolley, scooped up an armful of the same thing and hoped that their size was there.
“I found this a tad unfair for people that were really trying to find their size but these other people had dumped their unwanted clothes in different aisles.”
Victorian woman Cindy Chambers described a similar scene at her store today, with shoppers using their trolleys to “barricade” the sale items, and filling multiple trolleys “to the point of overflow”.
“When you have families of people banding together to barricade the stock with their trolleys and children so that others can not get in and have a fair go to shop – that’s a clear sign that it’s out of control,” she wrote on the Aldi Australia Facebook page.
“I saw people using trolleys to push others out of the way, kids were getting squashed and hit, a father had his newborn strapped to his front and was completely elbowed by a person who just did not give a hoot.
“To the families that barricaded the stock and had filled like 5 trolleys each to the point of overflow – I don’t think that is fair for all the others whom patiently waited whilst you all happily shopped like you were the only ones in the store.”
Despite the mayhem, other shoppers praised Aldi staff for their coordination during the popular Special Buys sale.
“Well done to the Mornington Peninsula home store with their snow sale,” Mishie Ivy said.
“They were fantastic and well organised. Shop was set out in a easy to find way! No issues! No fighting! Especially dealing with a crowd that was over 100 people!”
Praises were also sung by Andrew Newton, who wrote: “Well done Aldi. We’re a family of 4 heading to the snow for the first time.
“We were able to stock up at the Parkes NSW store without any problem at all. Plenty of stock.”