How would you like to spend 14 months in Europe becoming fluent in German before returning to Australia on A$171,000 ($186,354) a year — plus a BMW?
German discount supermarket Kaufland has kicked off a major hiring spree as it prepares to take the fight to Aldi, with job openings in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
The supermarket, part of the world's fourth largest retailer the Schwarz Group, is currently advertising for more than 30 roles including grocery category buyers, HR and payroll officers, IT experts, architects and property developers.
There are two listings for area managers in Melbourne and Adelaide, with the job description suggesting initial plans for up to 600 employees in each city.
"A$171,000 Package + BMW + Career Progression!" the listing reads.
The one catch, however, is that the role includes a 14-month "training and development" period in Europe where the successful applicant is expected to "become a fluent German speaker" while visiting the global head offices.
"This is your chance to experience life in major cities like Frankfurt and Berlin," it says. They will then return to Australia "where you will recruit, manage and develop team members, including store managers and up to 600 store team members".
The role requires them to "create a motivational and structured working environment, monitor and influence store performance, (and) agree to annual business targets and define goals with the store managers".
The area manager role pays significantly better than Aldi, which starts at A$101,800 and increases up to A$155,000 with experience.
The applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident with a valid passport, be able to travel to Europe for 14 months, and have at least a bachelor's degree and three years' experience in a similar role.
Kaufland has already purchased a former Bunnings site in Dandenong, Melbourne for A$16.4 million and the former Le Cornu warehouse site in Forestville, Adelaide for A$25m. It is expected to open its first store next year.
Sydney and Brisbane look set to follow, with job openings for property developers in those cities seeking experts to conduct "on-site and desktop feasibility studies to consider the commercial viability from a property and retail viewpoint".
A Kaufland spokesman said the supermarket was "recruiting a number of key roles to take the set-up phase to the next level in preparedness for the future of our operations here in Australia".
"Senior leadership roles such as area managers involve a period of training in Europe to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to operate Kaufland stores here in Australia," he said.
"The recent recruitment drive is a testament to our commitment to attracting and retaining high-calibre talent who are looking to grow and fast-track their careers with Kaufland Australia."
Kaufland operates more than 1250 stores in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia with more than 140,000 employees. Like Aldi, it has a strong focus on its private label "K-Classic" range.
Its sprawling "hypermarket" stores, which stock up to 60,000 products — around three times as many as a typical Coles or Woolworths — can be as large as 20,000sqm, or nearly four times the size of an Australian supermarket.
Kaufland Australia has received more than A$88m from its German parent company as part of an "an ambitious Australian investment and development program", according to the website.
"It's very unlikely we'll see anything less than 20 to 50 stores within the next five years — their only challenge will be finding locations," Retail Doctor Group founder Brian Walker said earlier this year.
"Kaufland needs to be price-attractive and range-attractive and they need scale to be really worrying to the larger players — and that's exactly what they will do. It will be different for shoppers because of sheer range, the pricing will be very strong, and Kaufland will be a real combination of Kmart and Aldi."