Markets bristle at Aldi’s Fyshwick plans

Ian Bushnell 10 March 2020 58
Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets

The markets say an Aldi supermarket would threaten their viability. Photo: Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets.

A proposal from European supermarket giant Aldi to set up shop next to the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets has the owners and most traders in a flap, but at least one major tenant is seeing the positives.

Aldi has teamed up with the owners of 11 Nyrang Street to develop the proposal which has a lengthy timeline, culminating in a 1750 square metre supermarket being established on the site in 2024. The site currently hosts a freighting and transport company.

The site’s zoning will need to change and local firm CommunicationLink has been engaged to undertake community and stakeholder consultation on behalf of the owners.

The Fyshwick market owners fear the proposal would steal customers and threaten the viability of the niche retail hub but Aldi says the establishment of a supermarket has the potential to transform the site around the area into a food shopping precinct – complementing not competing with the markets.

Aldi also says it will provide increased retail choice for the inner-south community, and to future residents within the East Lake area and Canberra Avenue corridor.

Part-owner of award-winning fruit and vegetable trader Ziggys, Ken Irvine, believes Aldi would be good for the markets, which would benefit from the customers the supermarket would attract.

“Every single customer who’s coming to the markets now already goes to a supermarket, and all they’re doing is making the supermarket more convenient for them to come to the markets,” he said.

“If you get to the supermarket and you’re shopping and the markets are right next door it’s got to be more inviting to go to the markets than if you’re 5 km away.”

But Wiffens manager Ruth Roxburgh, whose family are market part-owners, accused Aldi of being predatory, saying there was little residential density near the markets and the discount supermarket could easily use its market power to price out local traders such as bakers, butchers and delicatessens.

“We’re all independent locally owned businesses and if you take away some of our customers when we’re already only trading four days a week, that will affect the viability of our businesses, especially the smaller ones,” she said.


Where Aldi wants to set up shop. Image: CommunicationLink.

Ms Roxburgh said Aldi was not the right fit for what was always meant to be hub for independent traders and that there were already five supermarkets within 5 km of the markets, including one at Canberra Outlet Centre which was never supposed to have one.

“Having a multi-national supermarket right next to us is not really in keeping with what we’re about at all,” she said.

She said there were few small businesses such as delicatessens left in Canberra’s shopping centres and Canberra could potentially lose one of the last places where these kind of businesses had survived.

“The risk of damage to the markets is not worth any added convenience,” she said.

Ms Roxburgh said the markets were also concerned about the implications of a zoning change on parking and traffic in the area.

At this stage, the markets are calling on the public to support its cause during the consultation and are hoping that the proposal is short-lived.

Meanwhile, CommunicationLink has been conducting pop-up information kiosks with the next scheduled to be held at the Old Bus Depot Markets from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Sunday. Early community feedback is open until 25 March.

An Aldi spokesperson said the standard size store of about 1750 square metres would have plenty of onsite parking, and be staffed by a team of 15 to 20 full-time and part-time employees.

“Our intention is to trade side by side with the markets. This is why we started the community consultation process with the market owners. We think there is potential for some good synergies between the markets and the proposed Aldi store,” the spokeperson said.

At present, Aldi Jerrabomberra is under construction and the new store at Amaroo is being fitted out. Both stores will be opening in the coming months.

For more information go to the CommunicationLink website.

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58 Responses to Markets bristle at Aldi’s Fyshwick plans
Babs Mabbs Babs Mabbs 7:33 pm 15 Mar 20

If Aldi supply everything except Fruit and Veg, it might be complementary.

Mark Prevost Mark Prevost 7:09 pm 12 Mar 20

We lived in Melbourne until recently and watched the development of a Woolworths supermarket adjacent to the South Melbourne markets. Most survived and shoppers bought their fruit and veg at the market and cans etc at the supermarket, it proved very efficient for the punters.
Might also force the retailers in the Fyshwick market to address some of the eye watering prices they seek!

Elizabeth Martin Elizabeth Martin 5:18 pm 07 Mar 20

I’m all for more competition but I don’t think this is the right spot for an ALDI.

    Chih Eric Li Chih Eric Li 5:33 pm 07 Mar 20

    Elizabeth Martin maybe the new Aldi should be located near the new residential development next to red hill shop

Matt Frawley Matt Frawley 5:05 pm 07 Mar 20

Open Aldi in Woden instead. Give Coles and Woolies some competition...

    Chih Eric Li Chih Eric Li 5:30 pm 07 Mar 20

    Matt Frawley if Aldi does to Fyshwick it might give Coles Manuka some competition at last.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:31 am 07 Mar 20

Good bye the supermarket at the Narrabundah shops. Not sure how many stalls at the market will survive either. If Aldi didn't also sell fresh produce it would be a good fit, but they do sell fresh produce and will price many stall holders out of business.

Penny Gordon Penny Gordon 7:04 am 07 Mar 20

What a stupid idea. Surely there is another site in the inner south area that they could set up.

The big supermarkets have one business model...get more customers. They will price their meat, fruit and vegetables to attract more customers from the markets. If the butchers and grocers close, less customers going to the markets, so less walk past traffic for the "niche" businesses.

    Chih Eric Li Chih Eric Li 11:52 am 07 Mar 20

    Penny Gordon surely this would be the cheapest location in inner south.

    Penny Gordon Penny Gordon 11:53 am 07 Mar 20

    Chih Eric Li cheapest for whom?

    Chih Eric Li Chih Eric Li 11:54 am 07 Mar 20

    Penny Gordon for Aldi. I want them to be in a central location in inner south too but I can see it from their perspective too.

    Penny Gordon Penny Gordon 11:57 am 07 Mar 20

    Chih Eric Li that's fine.

    What people don't seem to be accounting for is that the Fyshwick Markets are supported by people from outside the inner south as well. We go there because of the butchers, grocers etc. If they are forced out of business, there is no reason to go there. So all of this "extra business" they seem to think they will get, will just dry up.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:48 pm 08 Mar 20

    Penny Gordon you have just given a good argument why an Aldi nearby won’t be an issue.

    As you said people are already come from far and wide. They are coming past existing Aldi’s (Plus Woolworths, Coles, Supabarns and IGA) specifically for what the markets offer that these supermarkets don’t.

    I gather Aldi isn’t trying to compete with the markets for this very reason but offering a place here people can go to the markets get what they need there and then get the rest (staples) from Aldi all in the one trip.

Candy Van Poppel Candy Van Poppel 6:43 am 07 Mar 20

Mark your Grandpa always talked about wanting to put an Aldi in at the markets.

Roger Mungummary Roger Mungummary 12:32 am 07 Mar 20

The markets don't open the same hours surely they can compete with Also, whose fresh food is second rate really. The meats not cheap either

Gary Hatcliffe Gary Hatcliffe 9:30 pm 06 Mar 20


Brad Rogers Brad Rogers 9:30 pm 06 Mar 20

I wouldn't go to the market area for Aldi quality produce. Market fresh all the way for all those delicious weekend cookups.

Find somewhere else for it...

Kathryn Mitchell Kathryn Mitchell 9:19 pm 06 Mar 20

I love ALDI but there's absolutely no need to have a store at Fyshwick markets. There's plenty around Canberra.

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 9:16 pm 06 Mar 20

Aldi sell meat, fruit and veg, yeah, but their stuff is all packaged and priced elsewhere. It’s not as fresh. If someone prefers Aldi produce over market produce, they aren’t likely to be market customers anyway.

Robert Honeybone Snr Robert Honeybone Snr 9:08 pm 06 Mar 20

Be Parochial buy at the Markets

Peter Bee Peter Bee 8:35 pm 06 Mar 20

It would draw people to the market. Stupid is not too strong a word for those at the market that oppose the move.

Andrew Dale Andrew Dale 7:31 pm 06 Mar 20

Asking as they don't sell meat, fruit n veggies, eggs, bread yeh go for it

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:31 pm 06 Mar 20

From what I’ve seen, that area is already a traffic mess, particularly at peak times for the existing markets, and the obvious future spruik for a Canberra Avenue tramline – “and to future residents within the East Lake area and Canberra Avenue corridor” – wouldn’t make much difference in an area where anything less than an upmarket SUV is regarded as slumming it.

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 7:17 pm 06 Mar 20

They complement each other. People will go to the market/Aldi complex, buy their groceries from one, fresh veges, bread, coffee etc from the other.

There will be more shoppers overall. It’s like having a used car district or a bookshop precinct. People go there to look through all the outlets.

Jack Hearps Jack Hearps 6:31 pm 06 Mar 20

Nope ... keep the markets small local ...

Julie Maynard Julie Maynard 5:59 pm 06 Mar 20

I see it as a positive for the market. Aldi has a target audience that may never set foot in a market. This may just drive Aldi shoppers to give the market a go!

Sue Lockyer Sue Lockyer 5:44 pm 06 Mar 20

I was at the Fyshwick markets today, options included Mexican grown asparagus and nuts and seeds from China and India. I believe Aldi stock around 80% Australian sourced products. As good as they are I doubt the markets can use the Australian grown/made argument in this case 🤔

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