Is the mad dash for Aldi super buys over?
AN ALDI product so coveted it sparked a supermarket brawl last time it went on sale has returned to the shop floor - and barely anyone cared.
Aldi's wicker outdoor setting, at the bargain price of $349, was the headlining sale item as part of today's "outdoor living" Saturday Special Buys.
Aldi's hugely popular, twice-weekly Special Buys sales have been known to spark wild scenes as shoppers rush to get their hands on the budget supermarket's items of the week, which come in very limited quantities and only in-store.
When the wicker outdoor setting last went on sale in September, there was such a frenzy that two Melbourne families were caught on camera brawling over it.
But this time, hardly anyone batted an eyelid.
At Aldi's Chatswood store, in Sydney's north shore, shopper Andrew arrived about 40 minutes before the store opened so he'd be among the first to get his hands on the furniture setting.
For most of his waiting time, he was ahead of only two people.
"We had heard about the mad rushes previously so we thought we'd get down here early," he told news.com.au.
By the time the store opened at 8.30pm, the queue had grown - but mainly with people getting an early start on their food shopping.
Three outdoor settings were calmly collected within a few minutes of the doors opening - hardly the classic Aldi dash-and-grab we've come to expect.
After 15 minutes, the limited stock still hadn't sold out.
It was an unusual response to Aldi's Saturday Special Buys, which are notorious for running out of stock fast - sometimes in under a minute.
Sam Khaled, the director of the Mrs Fields cafe that overlooks the Chatswood Aldi store, has a front-row seat to the usual madness of Special Buy days.
"Every Saturday and every Wednesday, it's crazy," he told news.com.au.
"Some people even get here at 7am [the store opens at 8.30am].
"I wouldn't do it myself, it's just crazy. But Aldi has the best prices on offer and their customer service is very good."
But there's only a very limited amount of stock and it's only available in store, so there are usually plenty of disappointed shoppers who miss out.
Some shoppers have been so upset to miss out on sale items, they've threatened to boycott the supermarket chain.
So overwhelming has been the response, some stores have implemented a ticketing system on Special Buys days, where those in front of the queue are given a number that entitles them to one product.
A spokesman for Aldi previously told news.com.au the method is currently enforced only by store managers, and isn't a measure forced upon each supermarket by Aldi headquarters.
Today, though, they didn't seem to need it.