Dick Smith Foods, the Australian manufacturer of products like OzEnuts peanut butter and the OzEmite spread, is set to shut down after decades in condiment aisles nationwide.
In a blistering announcement, founder Dick Smith said the decision to shut up shop was forced by the emergence of German supermarket monolith Aldi on the Australian market, and the chain’s reliance on cheaper imported goods to win over Aussie shoppers.
Smith also claimed that in addition to simply stocking fewer products than Australian-owned competitors Coles, Woolworths, and IGA‘s owners Metcash, Aldi also engages in “secretive” practices to stow profits away to its German owners.
In an open letter to Aldi’s owners Karl Albrecht and Beate Heister, Smith asked “I have an important question to ask you. When will enough be enough?”
It’s all pretty incendiary stuff from a man not exactly known for small gestures, but Aldi has already hit back.
In a statement provided to Fairfax Media, Aldi Australia’s CEO Tom Daunt denied any shady business practices, saying “We do not cut corners, we do not abuse our market power, we do not mislead our customers.
“We do not avoid tax payments, we do not squeeze our suppliers. We keep things simple and we focus our attention on what matters most to consumers.”
Smith said that his company, which made a name of donating its profits to charity, is currently profitable. However, current trends show that won’t be the case in two years.
Four workers including Smith will be directly impacted by the company’s closure. In his downtime, Smith may be able to continue hurling his support behind Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and his ongoing campaign to drastically limit migration to Australia.