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Dick Smith points finger at foreign supermarket as he prepares to close his brand

Australian brand folds
Article image for Dick Smith points finger at foreign supermarket as he prepares to close his brand

An emotional Dick Smith has announced he’s shutting down his food brand after 19 years.

The entrepreneur says within two years the company won’t be profitable, so he’s made the decision to close it before it goes into debt.

Dick is blaming pressure from German supermarket chain Aldi for driving him out of business.

“It’s a terribly sad day for me,” he tells Ben Fordham.

“I feel as if I failed at something that worked for 19 years.

“I started Dick Smith Foods to help Australian farmers and Australian workers and since then so many have gone broke… and I don’t want to follow that.”

Dick says the problem isn’t necessarily Aldi, it’s the inability of Australian products to compete with cheaper imported products.

“I’m not complaining about Aldi, that’s just modern capitalism.

“Naturally people are going to want to buy the cheaper product.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview with Dick

It’s prompted Andrew Bolt to question “whether we are innovative enough”.

“Why is it that a German company comes here and is able to have an operation that is meeting what Australians want?

“Why is it that the big innovators and disruptors in the retail business are almost entirely from overseas.”

Andrew says Dick was up against a changing culture in consumer buying habits.

“The thing that he was up against was the fact that Australians like to buy cheap above buying Australian.

“In the end, cheap beats local grown.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview 

Mr Smith spoke with Alan Jones the morning after his announcement, reiterating the unfair state of play Aussie companies face.

“Kraft used to bring the peanuts in from Argentina and at least employ Aussies in making it here.

“But Aldi have gone the next step, they make the whole peanut butter in Argentina, where the farmers get subsistent wages.

“So the peanut butter here, the Aldi one at least, sells at half price and we just can’t compete.”

The pair also speaks about the need for legislative change to save the Australian aviation industry.

Click PLAY below for the full interview


Australian brand folds