Schwarz Group, the retail giant behind the Lidl and Kaufland store chains, has announced it is abandoning plans, first reported in 2016, to open Kaufland stores in Australia.
“After careful and thorough consideration, Kaufland has decided to undertake an orderly withdrawal from the Australian market”, Kaufland said in a statement, adding that it would be “concentrating its business on its European core markets in the foreseeable future”.
Inside Retail reports that Kaufland had only just begun constructing its first stores and distribution centre in Australia, but had already assembled a 200-strong workforce. In September, it was reported that the retailer had two pilot stores already under construction, and had secured planning permission for two more. The construction of a new A$255 million distribution centre in Mickleham, Victoria was reported to have begun in June. In total, the firm is said to have readied 22 sites across the country as part of its expansion plans.
Commenting on the decision, Frank Schumann, acting CEO of Kaufland International, said: “This was not an easy decision for us. […] In Europe, we see a great deal of growth potential. We will actively shape the consolidation of the European retail sector, thus further reinforcing our leading position”.
Source: Schwarz Group / Inside Retail / Inside FMCG