The global pandemic has left millions of people homeless and has also forced major food companies to rethink how they sell their products.
The biggest of these is Australia’s biggest supermarket chain, Aldi, which has been struggling to find its footing as the world recovers from the pandemic.
“I think the global pandemics have created a very different environment than what we had before,” Aldi chairman Ian Jones told ABC News Breakfast.
“We are really now in a very new environment, and people are coming back, and so what we are really seeing now is the growth of new retailers.”
Aldi has struggled to find a foothold in Australia’s market since it began to focus on groceries in the mid-1990s, when it introduced the first supermarket in the country.
Now it sells almost half of the Australian supermarket market.
The company has struggled in Australia since its launch in the 1990s and has seen its market share drop to below 2 per cent over the last decade.
“There’s been a lot of consolidation and a lot more consolidation that has occurred in Australia in the last few years,” Mr Jones said.
“It has also created some real challenges for Aldi and we’re seeing it through to the retail sector.”
Mr Jones, who joined Aldi from Coles in 2004, said the global economic downturn had created “a very different” environment.
“Australia’s a very small market,” he said.
“[I think] Aldi was always a small player in that space.”
In the mid 1990s, Aldis’ first store opened in Sydney, and it was only in 2009 that the company’s retail outlets were expanded to four locations in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
At the time, Mr Jones was managing director of Coles Australia, which was also owned by Coles.
Mr Jones also ran Coles’ online shopping and grocery services business.
The supermarket chain has struggled with the global recession and the downturn in the Australian economy, which have resulted in significant costs for the business.
In the last three years, Aldes annual turnover has fallen by about 25 per cent to $8.7 billion.
“In our experience, there’s really been a very significant slowdown in the international markets, and the slowdown has really impacted our business and our operating costs,” Mr Moore said.
It is unclear whether Aldi will continue to focus entirely on grocery sales in the future.
It’s also unclear how the company will be able to make a profit in the short term, as it struggles to find ways to keep up with the surge in demand from overseas.
Mr Moore is hoping to build on the success of its Aldi grocery stores in Australia by building a larger store and expanding it to more locations.
“The way that we are doing our grocery business is that we build a business model around the concept of selling to consumers,” Mr Moor said.
Aldi is not the only supermarket chain struggling to survive.
It has also been hit hard by the global downturn, with its Australian retail operations in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia all closing.
Aldis Australian grocery business has also suffered, with sales falling by 20 per cent in Queensland last year.
Alden has also seen its sales slump and has now closed down its Coles stores.
Aldens grocery business also suffered the global drop in the global economy.
In March, it announced it would close its Coleseys stores in Sydney and Melbourne in the wake of the global financial crisis.
In December, Aldens Australian supermarket business also announced that it was shutting down its stores in Brisbane and Adelaide.
“Aldens Australian has a very long history of operating in a relatively small market, and that has not been the case in the past, which is why we are going to have to make tough decisions to continue to support our operations and continue to provide the service that our customers need,” Mr Morrison said.
But Mr Moore says that will not stop him from investing in his Australian business.
“As long as there’s demand for our products, we are confident we will continue on, and we will grow as a company,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“But we need to continue in our core strategy of selling a good product and providing great customer service.”
Mr Moore, who is currently on a six-week tour of the United States, says he is confident that his business will make a comeback once the global storm passes.
“This is a very big undertaking, it’s not just about Aldi but it’s about Aldens, it is about Alden, it would be a big task to run a business and compete with a global competitor,” he added.