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ALDI Mulls Move Into New Zealand

ESSEN, Germany -- International limited-assortment supermarket company ALDI, based here, has confirmed that it is considering expanding into the New Zealand market, according to press reports.

In a statement ALDI Group managing director Michael Kloeters said: "With regards to the potential entry into the New Zealand market, we would like to advise that this is being investigated; hence we are unable to make any further statement on that matter."

If the chain were to move into the island nation, it would provide competition for grocery giants Foodstuffs, owner of the New World and Pak'n Save banners, and Progressive Enterprises, which operates the Countdown, Woolworths, and Foodtown banners, resulting in lower prices and greater diversity in store types, but possibly impeding discount retailer The Warehouse’s efforts to expand its own grocery offering.

Since February, ALDI, which operates about 7,000 stores around the globe, including more than 780 in the United States, has filed nearly 130 applications to trademark its brands in New Zealand. In neighboring Australia, ALDI opened its first store in January 2001 and now operates around 100 locations.

The stores sell deeply discounted house brand items and carry around 700 products, vs. as many as 25,000 at conventional supermarkets.
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