IGA Opens New Sydney Store, Believes It Can Compete With ALDI

Independent supermarket IGA believes it can compete with the likes of ALDI with the opening of a new store in Sydney’s CBD on Monday night.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

The supermarket unveiled its latest CBD store, IGA Romeo’s Food Hall, with a twist, saying it’s designed to “cater to the needs of city workers, commuters and people living in the inner-city”.

Speaking to News Corp, Joseph Romeo, owner of the IGA Romeo’s Food Hall, said he believed the store could compete with ALDI, which has been a mammoth growth in the Aussie supermarket war in recent months.

“We have been prepared for a number of years now in South Australia for the entrance of ALDI and we believe the model and the ability to provide a niche market to our consumer is going to be a winner,” he told The Australian. IGA has a large presence in South Australia.

CEO of brand strategy company Principals, Tom Brigstocke, said one route IGA could go down to up the ante against other competitors would be making itself the “hyper nimble” supermarket, “adapting to change far faster than its larger competitors are able to do – and earning the ‘consumer champion’ recognition, building on their already strong credentials in this area”.

“Looking forward, competing with the likes of Coles, Woolies and ALDI is never going to be about price,” he added. “The best supermarkets in the world are about success through deep understanding of their customers and then delivering experiences that meet their needs – needs which rapidly evolve and change – from organic to locavore to paleo and so on.”

The Food Hall is also a step in a new retail direction for Romeo’s Retail Group, the owner of IGA, said Romeo. It was designed by design and architecture firm Saunders Global.

“Romeo’s has a long history of providing a very high level of service, exceptional quality and an excellent fresh and deli offering of which we are extremely proud,” said Romeo. “Our stores are tailored to the communities they serve and IGA Romeo’s Food Hall has been designed with the needs of inner city workers, residents and socialisers in mind.”

Ian Morrice, group chief executive of Metcash added he was delighted to be able to support independent retailers such as the Romeo’s. “This new store demonstrates the flexibility of the independents and their ability to tailor stores ensuring they provide what local communities want. As Australia’s leading wholesaler and owner of the IGA brand, we are working hard with retailers across Australia to ensure they are innovative, flexible and provide product at competitive prices.”

B&T has contacted Metcash and IGA for further comment but had not heard back at the time of publication.

ALDI is a strong competitor in the space, bulldozing over Coles and Woolworths in recent months as the chain continues its Australian domination.

The supermarket recently beat out Google for the world’s most simplest brand, and was the one Coles, Woolies and IGA needed to keep an eye on to avoid losing market share.