Renowned Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith has announced the closure of Dick Smith Foods, as falling sales and cheap imports put pressure on sales.
In a statement, Mr Smith said it was his “melancholy duty to inform everyone that after 19 years, I’ve had to make the decision to close Dick Smith Foods”.
“Our sales had continued to drop until about 2010, and at that stage, I was considering closing the business down,” he said.
“However, everyone came out with incredible support and I put in a lot of extra time in trying to revitalise the brand.
“But then, once we stopped selling our products at cost or less than cost, the sales started dropping again.”
Mr Smith said he was perplexed at how German-owned Aldi had become Australia’s most trusted brand, but that local supermarket giants Coles, Woolworths and IGA – which he claimed “have done everything they can to try and keep our products on the shelves” – have less respect among consumers.
“Our suppliers are going to keep our products on the shelves as long as they can, so please look for them and try to support them,” he said.
Mr Smith signed up by saying that, “I am really concerned about the future for our children and grandchildren”, a reference to the increasing prevalence of foreign-made goods in the Australian marketplace.
Mr Smith subsequently fronted TV cameras to give an emotional press conference, in which he reportedly wiped away tears and claimed he had “failed” Australian customers and workers.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.