German supermarket giant Kaufland has abandoned plans to set up on the Gold Coast, announcing its exiting the Australian market completely.
Kaufland announced plans to build 20 stores across Australia, including one at Burleigh Heads after getting its hands on the old Bunnings site on Reedy Creek Rd.
It had also purchased a number of other sites in Victoria and South Australia.
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Its foray into the Australian market had sparked excitement among shoppers, and fear among existing giants Coles and Woolworths.
The hypermarket chain has almost 1300 stores in Europe and employs more than 130,000 people.
In a statement, Kaufland International says it was ditching its Australian plans to focus on its European operations.
“This decision is about focusing business activities in Europe and is in no way a reflection of the efforts of our local employees or management, or the support Kaufland has received from the Australian business community or governments,” Kaufland International Acting CEO Frank Schumann said.
“This was not an easy decision for us. We always felt welcome in Australia.
“We would like to thank our employees and we apologise for the disruption this decision will cause.”