Blog: Concerns over Australia's two-horse retail race

Sam Webb | 2 November 2011

On the day Woolworths Ltd announced wide-reaching plans to claw back sales from rival Coles, Australian Industry Minister Kim Carr voiced fears over the power of the two supermarket chains.

At a seminar organised by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) - more from them later - Carr expressed concerns about the power of the pair, which together control 80% of retail food sales in the country.

"On the basis of the claims put to me, there is a case to be concerned about an abuse of market power," he told the seminar.

Carr also backed Rod Sims, the recently-appointed chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who last month warned supermarkets that he will keep an eye on their "significant market power" that stops smaller suppliers from negotiating supply arrangements.

"I welcomed his declared intention to fully explore the limits of ACCC powers in relation to these matters," the minister said.

Meanwhile, the AFGC also echoed concerns about, among other factors, the purchasing power of supermarkets on the Australian food manufacturing industry with the release of a report that claimed 130,000 jobs could be lost by 2020 if radical reforms are not made.

Woolworths clearly feels it has to improve in the face of competition from Coles. However, the rest of Australia's food sector remains concerned over just how much competition there really is in the industry.


BLOG

If Kraft Heinz passed on Pinnacle, it should do so with Campbell

It's almost 18 months since Unilever rebuffed Kraft Heinz and, ever since, the rumour mill has spun over where the US manufacturer could look next. It's been reported today (2 August) the ketchup make...

BLOG

Maybe Trump is finding trade wars aren’t so easy to win

In March, a day after issuing stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, Donald Trump took to Twitter to give his verdict on trade disputes. Four months later, it looks as though Trump's confide...

BLOG

Upfield Foods, home to ex-Unilever spreads assets, makes notable appointment

UK food-industry veteran David Salkeld is to take a senior position at Upfield Foods, the newly-instituted business that is home to Unilever's former spreads assets....

BLOG

Nature's Path quits US organic trade body in "protest"

The Organic Trade Association, which represents the organic industry in the US, has seen a high-profile member quit the organisation, taking a swipe at the body's stance on policy issues....



Forgot your password?