Australian businessman Dick Smith has today announced he is closing down his iconic Dick Smith Foods business.
The 74-year-old made the “unbelievably sad” announcement in a statement on his website on Thursday.
“It is my melancholy duty to inform everyone that after 19 years, I’ve had to make the decision to close Dick Smith Foods,” Mr Smith said.
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“It’s really sad – the reasons are covered in the attached letter, which I sent yesterday to our three major retail supporters, Coles, Woolworths and Metcash (IGA). I thank everyone for the incredible support over the years.”
In the letter, Mr Smith said the “driving force” behind the closure of Dick Smith Foods was discount German supermarket chain ALDI.
“I have always predicted that Aldi will be incredibly successful in Australia, and they are,” he said.
“It’s amazing that foreign-owned Aldi is now our most trusted brand, whereas Coles, Woolworths and Metcash (IGA) have done everything they can to try and keep our products on the shelves, are not as respected.”
Aldi Australia CEO Tom Daunt has defended the company’s strategy saying it always strives to provide its customers with high quality products at affordable prices.
“Our focus on the essentials and our optimisation of the discount principle has made ALDI the successful Australian retailer it is today,” Mr Daunt said.
“As a privately owned business we have never sought to ‘maximise’ profits at the cost of something or someone else. Rather, we opt for long term sustainable growth strategies.”
Since the launch of Dick Smith Foods 19 years ago, the “As Australian as You Can Get” company has managed to create retail sales of about $480 million for Australian farmers and processors and given over $10 million to charity.
You can read Mr Smith’s full letter regarding the business’ closure here.