On the 22nd of January it was announced that German retail giant, Kaufland, will be exiting the Australian market and ceasing any ongoing projects in Australia due to a change in corporate focus.
An artist’s impression of a Kaufland store in Australia. Credit: Kaufland
Established in 1984, Kaufland has grown to become the worlds 4th largest retailer. With around 1,300 stores and 130,000 employees, Kaufland saw potential in the growing Australian market with Kaufland Australia director, Maximilian Wiedmann, commenting, “Australia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and we are excited to grow with it.” (C&I Convenience, 2020).
The shock announcement comes only months after announcing that Kaufland will be building a $255million distribution centre in Australia (C&I Convenience, 2020), along with a handful of sites planned for the South Australian region and approximately 30 stores Australia wide.
The company made the decision based on their need to focus on their European business, rather than as a reaction to the Australian market.
“This was not an easy decision for us. We always felt welcome in Australia. We would like to thank our employees and we apologise for the disruption this decision will cause,” says Kaufland International’s acting CEO Frank Schumann
“We would also like to thank our business partners, who offered us great support over the last few years. We would also like to thank the government for being very open-minded to our projects.” (C&I Convenience, 2020)
Kaufland says the fate of the planned Adelaide sites on previous Le Cornu’s site in Forestville and Prospect will be discussed in the coming days (7 News, 2020).
You can find out more here.