Initial response from the Fyshwick Markets to the proposal
The location of an Aldi Supermarket at a site directly adjacent to the Fyshwick Markets will have a seriously detrimental impact on the stallholders at the Fyshwick Markets, lead to a further deterioration in the parking situation at peak times and threaten the long term economic viability of many of the stallholders, particularly the smaller ones. Having a major international supermarket next to a locally owned and operated fresh food market is in direct conflict with the spirit and intent in which the Markets were established by the ACT Government which was to provide a location for local independent food retailers to do business.
Key issues with the proposal are as follows:
- Aldi would be in direct competition with most of the retailers in the Markets including: Delicatessens, butchers, bottle shop, greengrocers, bakers and speciality stores
- Aldi’s discount pricing model would seriously threaten the financial viability of many market operators who already face challenging market conditions with the power and size of the supermarket chains and high operating costs.
- In a highly competitive retail market where many independent suburban food retailers have already become obsolete partly as a result of the market power and competition of the major supermarkets an Aldi at Fyshwick threatens one of the last remaining hubs of local food retailing outside of shopping centres in Canberra
- The markets are locally owned and operated as are all the stallholders and Aldi would damage not only these brands but the Fresh Food Market brand by being so closely associated with and located next to the Markets
- It is already very difficult to turn off Canberra Avenue as well as park at the Markets and surrounding streets particularly in peak periods. The addition of an Aldi would make this situation worse impacting on customer experience and customer retention
- Aldi has significant market share, which translates into market buying power and ability to engage in price wars and cost cutting. An Aldi adjacent to the Markets could engage market business in price competition that the small locally owned businesses couldn’t compete with
- The inner south is already saturated with major supermarket offerings with a Coles Supermarket at Griffith 1.9km from the proposed site, a supermarket at DFO (2.5km from Fyshwick) and a new supermarket opening at Kingston (1.4km from Fyshwick) in addition Majura park (4.5km away) has a Costco and Woolworths. The addition of another major supermarket at Fyshwick would be the third new supermarket in the local area in the last five years.
In relation to the proposed Aldi adjacent to the Fyshwick Markets…there is already an oversupply of food outlets at the markets, Coles and Woolworths in Manuka, Super IGA at the outlet centre as well as a new supermarket opening soon in Kingston. As a small business owner already struggling with higher rents, higher prices for meat, the downturn in trade over the recent period with heat smoke and bushfires, we are already struggling to stay affloat. Another food supplier in to the mix will again cause a downturn in business.
The justification case is just plain bogus. If the ACT Planning and Govt agrees to this, it is just more evidence that they completely fail to grasp what constitutes building communities.
In the decision making process the Territory Plan is legislation that must be considered and includes the objectives of the IZ.2-Mixed use industrial area;
l) The following Zone Objectives apply specifically to West Fyshwick:
i) Encourage Canberra’s regional role for food processing, wholesaling, distribution and marketing
ii) Cluster uses which are compatible with and complementary to existing facilities, particularly with regard to food processing and warehousing and the markets, including some small scale food retailing
iii) Protect the safety and amenity of food related enterprises
iv) Promote buildings along Canberra Avenue that maintain and enhance a character appropriate for a major approach road to the Central National Area
I can’t see that Aldi could achieve any of these zone objectives. Aldi’s buildings look like warehouses. We don’t need that look to be introduced along Canberra Ave as part of urban renewal. Cheap food produce and products rather than complement the fresh food local markets will seriously impact on the smaller stall holders.
Surely a more suitable location with better access and parking could be found.