German retail business Schwarz Group has confirmed it is seeking Australian sites and staff as it works towards bringing the hypermart chain Kaufland to this country.
Kaufland operates more than 1,230 stores in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia. The large-format stores stock up to 60,000 product lines, some of which are private-label ‘K-Classic’ brands.
The retailer recently unveiled “an ambitious Australian investment and development program” and has begun searching for suitable sites in Melbourne – ideally, plots of between 15,000 and 20,000sqm.
Kaufland has also posted vacancies for positions in property development, architectural planning, letting and administration – all based in Melbourne.
Commenting on the Schwarz Group’s plans, Euromonitor International Research Analyst Bettina Kurnik says it is Kaufland’s stablemate, Lidl, that provides the interesting story, while “Kaufland is just an aside”.
“Kaufland, for instance, has a smaller range of private-label products than Lidl, and deep discounting on brands is already the well-established realm of the ‘big two’ supermarkets,” she said.
“While Kaufland’s success in eastern Europe has been largely based on fewer players competing within its unique hypermarket-discounter category blend, the Australian market hasn’t even gone down the hypermarket path – as yet.
“Australia’s retail battles are thus more likely to be fought over the discounter space, and the entry of Lidl would certainly further disrupt an evolving grocery landscape.”