The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Aldi snow sale: your time is up

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Australia | 3 comments


The Aldi sale shouldn’t continue in its current format.

It’s that time of year again, innit snowlovers?

You know the ski season is nigh when you see the ads crop up on social media or perhaps the catalogue flitting about at your local shopping centre. Or maybe your next door neighbour is dusting off his knuckle dusters and mouthguard and you’re wondering why …

Yes, it’s the annual Aldi snow sale this Saturday.

But I’m calling for an end to it in its current set-up and here’s why.

Not because Aldi gear isn’t at the least passably good. I’ve had family members own some of the stuff and I’ve seen, felt and even used some of it.

To me it still seems like a great entry point for the casual to semi-regular snow enthusiast. And if it gets more people skiing or snowboarding – great. Does it matter that every second person at Perisher seems to have the same design jacket? No – and why would I care anyway.

Not because I have a beef with Aldi itself. Hey, I often do my grocery shopping there. While truth be known I’m not actually a big fan of their packaged beef as it turns out, this isn’t a core issue for me.

No, the problem I have is with the Aldi sale is the feeding frenzy concept that it very deliberately creates.


Bargains – but what is the real cost?

I do geddit, you know. It’s Economics 101.  Create a limited supply and then, if your product and the word of mouth is good, develop extraordinary demand. Aldi do it and do it well.

In the early 2000s you had the major brands and the major stores with their major prices. The casual enthusiast either had to hire or shell out the big bucks. Sure, you might be a able to get a cheap winter parka at KMart – but what about some proper ski pants, a helmet and a dozen other ski-specific things you might need?

Aldi filled that void and kudos to them.

But I reckon it has now turned into a bit of a shit show and an unnecessary one at that.

I went to the 2016 sale in a southern Sydney store. It wasn’t the worst experience but I wouldn’t call it a fun morning out either. Then there was the racist and abusive female shopper at the counter – ugly as it was the incident wasn’t ski clothes related.

But make no mistake these things have the capacity to get quite ugly; and simply bring out the ugly in people.

From reports of fights and verbal abuse to scratching, biting and pulling amongst customers these things have just turned into an annual free for all.

Glenn Shiell from Snowriders captures the action from the 2017 Aldi snow sale in Perth

Why not just get enough of a range in to fully cater for demand? Perhaps do it in a civilised way? Because that doesn’t play to the very modern FOMO problem does it?

Our friends at Snowlriders took a different tack – questioning the quality of the gear in their article. You can be the judge of that yourself.

If you haven’t heard, there’s a shop called Decathlon (I have no commercial affiliation with the store). Huge in Europe, they are something like the Ikea of the sports world. There’s a great range of snow gear at rock solid prices and you don’t have to elbow people out of the way to get it.

Buy online or if you’re in Sydney pop into the huge Tempe store. There you might just find yourself leaving with not only a ski jacket but some dignity as well.


  1. aldi have 3000 odd stores in Europe. The gear they sell here is left overs from last northern winter. Know a family who bought a heap of ski gear form aldi last year. Nothing matched, but meant they got to ski in USA, otherwise it might have just been NZ. (difference in cost of 2 weeks in USA vs same in NZ, is now minimal & no comparison. On snow in USA vs 30-60 min drive in NZ.

  2. Just don’t shop there on the snowday. I keep track of it for that reason. In my kids day there wasn’t aldi here, and I have spent seasons scouring outside the rental places for pants and tops that weren’t too badly wrecked so we could afford to go to the snow – we live here, close enough to drive to but it’s too costly for lots of us. In fact, I would say that the whole snow thing is something people just love to get in a frenzy about. It’s bedlam on the roads all season. In the shops, all season. I have a seceet place to buy fuel and buy a hamburger….and no I’d never divulge! Dropped the teen snowboarders to the bus early one frost morning, went up to Macca’s for a leisurely breakfast with the preteen, to memorise a dressage test….as we pulled into the carpark 3 busses pulled up to Macca’s and 2 to KFC. OMG – RUN Daughter and I never moved so fast. Those snowbus people are rude, quite aggressive, very messy, and the toilets! Please! After they left we commiserated with the manager as he shovelled busloads of paper and styrofoam into the garbages, because they don’t bother to put it in the rubbish on the way out. We’re a little seasonal town, so we try to wear the fact that we can’t go to the P.O. all winter because it’s on the other side of town, because we don’t have industry and commerce to keep people in work. I’m certainly not going to whinge about the aldi sale – if I wanted something I’d go, otherwise I stay the heck out of it, and good luck to those who have to get down and dirty!

  3. Wasn’t too bad this year (on ski sale opening day) – they had heaps of stock in their Queanbeyan store, shoppers were polite and helpful, managed to pick up new ski jackets for the kids (ages 8 and 5), snow boots, plus a few groceries all for $140 – you really can’t argue with that! Particularly when the kids outgrow their stuff every two seasons … I’m sure once they get a bit older (and stop growing) we can invest in more expensive gear (I’ll also check out Decathlon – thanks for the tip!).

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