AUSTRALIA: Tasmanian shoppers shortchanged by major grocer?
Shoppers in Tasmania are suffering at the hands of a major grocery chain, said Liberal Franklin MHA Martin McManus, after it decided to standardise store layouts and product lines across Australia.
McManus, who did not reveal the name of the chain, explained that the product lines on offer in Tasmanian stores are now being determined far away in Sydney.
"I'm receiving an increasing number of complaints about it, particularly over the past couple of weeks. Product ranges are no longer being stored in the same place in the supermarkets, and when customers do track them down, they find the actual product they want is no longer stocked.
"Stores can no longer carry products they have traditionally stocked because they don't conform with the national standard," he said.
"Tasmanian shoppers are becoming frustrated that their product choices are being limited by Sydney boardrooms," he concluded: "Tasmanian tastes differ from those of Sydneysiders. It makes no sense to take the decision-making away from Tasmanians who understand local tastes."
Responding to the comments, Michael Kent, head of Woolworths Tasmania, insisted that McManus was merely politicking in the approach to the State Government election: "Woolworths centralised its buying base in July last year. Why has Mr McManus waited until now to bring it up?"
A Coles Myer spokesman added that while it has a centralised approach to buying, it would "bend over backwards" to introduce a product range if Tasmanian customers expressed an interest.
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