Hatred of Australia's big-two supermarkets

This is very reminiscent of the hatred that Leftists direct at Wal-Mart in America. Success is hated. And there is absolutely no substance in what they say below. There are smaller supermarket chains with different business models such as IGA (stressing convenience) and Aldi (stressing ultra-low prices) and there is nothing stopping anyone who wants to shop at one of those. They all have plenty of outlets. People go to Woolworths because they like the Woolworths model (lots of choice) and they obviously are prepared to pay for that. "Choice" just ASSUMES that price is all that matters. If that were so, everyone would be going to Aldi.

Note: "Choice" is similar to Britain's "Which". It is a consumer reports organization but has recently come under heavy Leftist influence: Another example of the Gramscian "long march"

AUSTRALIA has the highest grocery inflation in the Western world and our powerful supermarket duopoly has a big role to play, experts warn. Commanding up to 80 per cent of the nation's $90 billion grocery market and a large percentage of the fuel market, Coles and Woolworths have little incentive to discount, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says.

The stranglehold on the market came under fire this week when Coles announced a food-for-fuel promotion requiring customers to spend $300 on food to get a 40c per litre discount of fuel. Woolworths matched the offer within hours, The Courier-Mail reports. Independent petrol station owners claimed the move was designed to squeeze out the competition. The number of independent fuel stations has plummeted from 7000 to 5500 in five years. [It has been shrinking for decades]

Christopher Zinn, the spokesman for consumer group Choice, said petrol discounts shouldn't be taken at face value. "You always have to consider how the supermarkets subsidise this - they aren't giving things away out of the kindness of their hearts, you usually pay to make up for your savings elsewhere," Mr Zinn said.

At the end of last year the ACCC released its Grocery Inquiry, which concluded there were insufficient incentives for Coles and Woolworths to truly discount. The report also noted that Australia had the highest rate of grocery inflation of all OECD countries. The report said if one of the big players discounted, the other matched it quickly, meaning there was no good chance for either to win new customers from the discounting effort.

The Retailers Association national executive director Scott Driscoll said the retail war was not between Coles and Woolworths - it was "the big two versus everyone else". "There are no other developed countries in the world where two big players control the market to the extent these two do," Mr Driscoll said.

But Monash University's Australian Centre for Retail Studies program director Steve Ogden-Barnes said Coles and Woolworths were competing like never before, to the advantage of consumers. The expansion of ALDI had offered a sizeable alternative to the big names and enhanced competition. "We have seen the quality of robust competition in the marketplace improve to a quality we haven't seen in a long time," Mr Ogden-Barnes said. "Coles and Woolworths are responding to that and I think they are in a very public battle for their market share."

But he said the duopoly was here to stay and he urged consumers to make it "work for them" by studying catalogues and shopping around. "Put aside your loyalty and capitalise on the competitive environment," he said.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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