Queues outside Aldi rivalled the polling booths on Saturday morning

Polling booths may be open but the real queues of the morning have been outside the nation’s Aldi stores, with shoppers desperate to snag a bargain in the biggest sale of the year.

Frenzied scenes played out at Aldi stores nationwide as the retailer launched its annual ski gear sale, the most popular of all its weekly Special Buys sales.

And no one was prepared to miss out on a good deal for winter.

A queue of about 100 shoppers snaked around the corner from Chatswood Aldi, on Sydney’s North Shore, waiting for doors to open at 8.30am.

RELATED: Best items at Aldi ski sale

RELATED: Aldi announces date of 2019 snow gear sale

The first shopper in the queue got to the store before 7am.

“It’s embarrassing but you have to get here early,” the customer, who didn’t want to be named, told news.com.au.

“I came last year and the stuff went so quickly. The ski jackets are the first to go.

“It was crazy last year. Lots of running. The doors opened just a bit and people were ducking under to get in. The workers were standing there filming us.

“It’s our version of Black Friday.”

The front half of the queue outside Chatswood Aldi, in Sydney, with about 15 minutes until doors opened. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

At 8.30am on the dot, the rush was on.Source:News Corp Australia

The keen skier and her boyfriend were hoping to stock up for the ski season, saying the quality of Aldi’s gear was excellent — “but about a third of the usual price”.

Friends Lorna Hammond and Grace Hartry were next in the queue, arriving about 7am armed with large shopping bags and a long list of things to buy.

“We both have boys in Year 7 and they have ski trips for school coming up,” Lorna said.

“We’ll need jackets, pants and boots.”

And while the bigger event of the day might be the federal election, these mums knew their priorities.

“What election?” Grace laughed.

“This is our number 1, then we’ll vote.”

Once a staff member tentatively opened the front door there was a determined but orderly rush for the massive stacks of winter stock.

The same couldn’t be said for other Aldi stores, with shoppers reporting wild scenes.

“What a mess,” Darren Hopkins said on Facebook.

“People grabbing items and stacking them on the floor (that’s ours!) so they could try stuff on. Not enough stock as always. Do your self a favour and go to Anaconda and get better gear cheaper.

The annual winter gear sale is the biggest sale Aldi holds all year.Source:News Corp Australia

Shoppers snapped up everything from ski jackets and pants to gloves, goggles, helmets and kids gear.Source:News Corp Australia

“Smart marketing on their part and better still they have staff to help, change rooms and staff who won’t through items at you when checking out!”

Another shopper, Sarah Jones, was disappointed.

“Pity you can never get anything because it’s a one day sale and there’s gazillions of people waiting at the doors,” she said.

“People grabbing arm fulls and buying them then returning the ones that don’t fit. And people who genuinely need them … get nothing unless they are cutthroat grabbing.”

Some of the big-ticket items in this year’s ski sale included thermal underwear for under $40, ski jackets and pants for under $60 and snow boots from $30.

The snow gear sale, which launched in 2008, is the German supermarket chain’s most popular Special Buys event.

People get so invested in bagging a bargain, shoppers will often try “working in teams” to get their hands on a good deal.

Previous sales have seen shoppers pushing and shoving their way though the aisles. Shoppers described the rush for items during last year’s ski gear sale as “nuts”.

Today’s sale was promoted as the “biggest and best yet”, with winter clothes and accessories from jackets and underlayers to boots and goggles on offer for rock-bottom prices.

Crowds of shoppers at Chatswood Aldi in Sydney were more orderly than others.Source:News Corp Australia

Australia’s ski and snow retail sector — estimated to be worth more than $2 billion a year — has now been dominated by Aldi’s annual sale.

It’s created such a cult following, Aldi introduced a competition that gives shoppers the chance to win one of 10 Perisher weekend packages — including accommodation, ski lift passes, lessons and ski or snowboard hire.

This year, the competition gave shoppers the chance to win more than $30,000 in prizes. The 2019 winners have been announced.

Winter jackets were tipped to be among the most sought-after items in today’s sale.Source:Supplied

Aldi’s Special Buys offer an unusual list of products at super-cheap prices — from Dyson vacuum cleaners to a rocking chair that sold out in a minute flat.

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 Aldi customers have suggested a ticketing system to ensure those who are first in line are fairly rewarded.

Source: Read Full Article