Friday, September 14, 2012

Woolworths and Coles, Australia’s two biggest retailers have piranha like tendencies.

This ubiquitous duopoly manipulates, coerces, and undercuts their opposition till they are no longer viable and go out of business, and then they will be in total control over us.

They are destroying our Australian farmers who are producing our food,
so they have an excuse to import their merchandise from China or other countries that have cheaper work forces, and who spray their produce with herbicide, not allowed to be used in Australia. The milk discount war they started with the Australian dairy farmers is unforgivable and against the national interest.

This duopoly now controls our petrol, hardware, liquor, gambling, groceries, meat, fruit and vegetables; in short, all the essentials for our existence. It is absolutely shameful that our federal government allows this to happen. Australia’s ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is a toothless tiger and that is an understatement. Their mantra is supposed to be: “To promote competition and fair trade in the market place to benefit consumers, businesses and the community. It also regulates national infrastructure services. Its primary responsibility is to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with the Commonwealth competition, fair trading and consumer protection laws.” What a bad joke; they will not touch Woolworths or Coles.

This duopoly will bribe their customers with a few cents of discount for petrol, but one has to spend money first. But no matter whether one spends 30 dollars or 300, the discount is more an insult than a reward, and nobody would drive more than a few Km to the nearest Woolworths or Coles controlled service station – it just wouldn’t be worth it.

It saddens me no end when I see people buying their meat, bread, stationary, fruit and vegetables from those two and bypassing the small family owned businesses nearby.  They don’t seem to care what will happen once those small family businesses have gone by the wayside because of Woolworths and Coles.

Here is a letter Rob McIntyre sent subscribers of his website “Better Living Resources” – which reflects my sentiments exactly. - Werner  

 Dear Judy,
I know it has only been 18 months since I had a swing at the "Hungry Beast" - the Coles/Woolworths duopoly. But there are just too many honest people being fleeced and sent broke by the money hungry corporations.
In little more than a decade, Coles and Woolworths have spread their tentacles - and power - across the retail spectrum. They run a near-duopoly in the $84 billion grocery industry, with market share way above 75 per cent. They are among the biggest players in petrol retailing, with a combined share of more than 65 per cent. They hold at least 60 per cent of the liquor, clubs and hotels industry and 60.5 per cent of department stores through Big W, Kmart and Target. In hardware, Bunnings already controls 16 per cent of the highly fragmented industry and more than 56 per cent of hardware retailing.

They have moved into the beer market, with Woolworths buying a 25 per cent stake in Western Australian brewer Gage Road, and private label beer brands, including Platinum Blonde. Coles is selling Tasman Bitter Hammer 'n' Tongs as its own brand and Woolworths has bought Cellarmasters, which gives it a one-stop-shop for wine, including wineries, distributing wine, a wine club and an online business.

They have also moved into financial services, including a credit card and insurance, and both are keen on the pharmaceutical industry if and when it is ever opened up.The activities, coupled with the various loyalty programs being revamped by Coles and Woolworths, are designed to further capture the consumer wallet and make it difficult to escape.

This power and reach is unprecedented globally and means that they are able to pay suppliers less than prevailing market prices. The move to offer $1 a litre for milk has had a disastrous impact on farmers, milk distributors and smaller milk retailers.The continued "price wars" between them (all in the name of satisfying customers) is slowly but relentlessly putting the small suppliers (farmers and food manufacturers) out of business. In July suppliers to Woolworths were given two weeks to cut their prices by up to 10per cent or have their goods removed from  the shelves — with no commitment from the supermarket giant to lower prices to consumers.

This kind of bullying is common and it is difficult for the supplier not to comply.  Because of the duopoly's huge share of the Australian market, suppliers would not be able to find a sale for their products. They own 19% of all fuel retail outlets but are responsible for 67% of fuel sales in Australia. This is effectively causing the other 81% of service stations to rely more heavily on the sale of products other than fuel. Smaller servo owners, just like the mom and dad corner stores, are being forces to close their doors.

They are pushing hard to stock their shelves with "home-brand" products,
with an agenda to cripple the competition. Known brands are slowly disappearing from the supermarket shelves. This brings us to another sneaky loophole in the labelling laws to hoodwink the public. To use "Made in Australia" without any further qualification, manufacturers must meet a test that shows that at least 50 per cent of the value of the goods being created in Australia, including the packaging.

Often, the cost of the can/packet is more than the cost of the food.
The packaging is made in Australia - the food, the stuff you're wanting to get hold of, comes from an undisclosed overseas country.While Australians are supporting these brutes, believing they are making wise buying decisions, the long term outcome is likely to sting. As Coles and Woolworths slowly grow and 'acquire', as the result of the money Aussies are spending with them, the competition will disappear.  Once there is no competition… what do you think will happen to the prices then?
We have posted a few clips from a variety of current affairs programs that may help you demonstrate the truth, on our front page. CLICK HERE to take a look.

While you are there, you may like to read/download an interesting free article by Sally Fallon, "Dirty Secrets Of The Food Processing Industry".

Here are just 10 of our DVDs that speak into the food industry as well:

Click on the title to see the Trailer and a review.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
We Become Silent: The Last Days of Health Freedom
Mad Cowboy
Hungry For Change
Consuming Kids - The Commercialization of Childhood
Killer At Large
The Future of Food
Sweet Misery – A Poisoned World
Genetically Modified Food - Panacea or Poison?
All Jacked Up - Hungry For The Truth?

Purchase one of the above DVDs in September, and we will send you a free DVD with the Four Corners exposé on Woolworths and Coles.

Well, as for me and mine, we will boycott the Wesfarmers and Woolworths Limited and purchase our goods from the few remaining honest suppliers. How about you?
Happy shopping,

Rob McIntyre
Phone: 0411 661 444

P.O. Box 300 Narellan, NSW 2567, Australia

My thought for today. – Werner
The past cannot be changed; the future is still in your power. - Hugh White
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Concerned Australian said...

And the majority of Australians will agree with the sentiments expressed in this posting. Big business seems to be untouchable in Australia, and is let to get away with anything. And, our politicians are either sleeping at the wheel, or are being paid off.

Activist said...

Yes, I agree, Concerned Australian. And Big Pharma seems the most untouchable of all. The 'regulators' (FDA in USA and TGA here) are in cahoots with them. Instead of protecting citizens as they're supposed to, they protect the drug companies. And Governments let them get away with it.

Jill Elato said...

This is a powerful message for all Australians, and if we just sit around and do nothing about this and hope that things will rectify itself; then we are kidding ourselves. Once those two retailers have eliminated all their competition by undercutting them, and then we are at their mercy. Wake up Australians!

Betty Parry said...

This puts the situation in a nutshell, and I like “piranha like tendencies” in your title, it is spot on. I also agree with the precious comments, especially from Activist about big Pharma. We are being duped left right and centre; there isn’t an even playing field in Australia anymore. Keep up the good work, Werner.

Janice Skipp said...

Spot on - totally true. Woolworths and Coles don't care about people at all. I shop at IGA and will continue to do so. IGA care about people and they put back into the community.

People need to stop getting sucked in by the fuel discount offers and price wars. Start thinking about the future. After Woolworths and Coles have destroyed the competition they can charge whatever they like.


Wake up Australia

True Blue Aussie said...

We totally agree with the content of this blog posting as well as the comment made. I say again: Wake UP Australia and support all the family businesses like of IGA, the butcher, the newsagents the baker and the candlestick maker, just to name a few. If they are killed off by this predatory duopoly of Woolworths and Coles, we are at the mercy of them; there will be no competition left in Australia and the prices will go up. Woolworths and Coles are not real competitors; they collude with each other and have the same prices. The ball is in your court, start supporting the small family businesses.

Concerned N. Qld. Family. said...

As a Cairns resident my extended family shops at Piccones Supa IGA at Edmonton or Cairns, this family owned business gives back to our community, whereas Woolworths an Coles not only want to destroy their competition, but also our food producing farmers.
Woolworths is trying to eliminate their opposition in very stealthy manner. They are sending out e-mail to their Reward Card holders with messages like this: If you spend $40.00 in the fruit and vegetables section you will get 8 cents off the petrol. They same message is sent for spending a certain amount in other sections for points or petrol discounts. This is outright blackmail and meant to kill the opposition. Anybody who is not thick behind the ears will know that if you spent a lot of money in any of those sections, you will not go to your local butcher or green grocer for example, and spend the same amount again with them. Wake up and support the small or large family owned business in your area.

Irene said...

It is not the Government that allows this to happen – it is us! We buy all our goods at these outlets when there are often alternatives. There is not a Woolworths in Mareeba and I do not shop at Coles. I support independent grocers.