Extended trading only hurts store owners, shoppers
WITH regard to the articles ‘Trading all year round mooted for twin cities’ etc and ‘Don’t trade in tradition’ ( TB, December 18).
What needs to be considered is that extended trading hours from a retail perspective benefit principally the major retailers.
Small businesses usually lose trade when the majors open. I’m sure many of Mr Wallace’s constituents in small business, including their staff, would not be impressed with his uncaring comment that it would be tough on them but is part of an evolving society.
The majors employ fewer people per $100 of sales than do independents, so any increase in their market share results in job losses in other sectors. Is that good for society, Mr Wallace?
Is this, from an even wider perspective, good for the consumer? We say no!
Currently in the food sector, Woolworths and Coles control nearly 80 per cent of the national food market. We believe the major retailers have used their market power to increase profit margins by driving down prices paid to suppliers of products and services.
This has not resulted in a reduction in retail prices, only on improved bottom line (profit) for the majors.
Grocery prices have increased substantially since the mid-1990s while the range of products available in supermarkets has contracted from around 50,000 to about 30,000 and this reduction in branded product is likely to increase as the majors move more into private labels.
This in itself could cause job losses in the food manufacturing sector, plus a lot of this stock is imported.
From 1990 to 2006, the CPI has increased 56 per cent, yet food prices have risen 73 per cent.
Australia has the highest dominance of retail food sales (by two companies) in the Western World, yet we are also the only country where food inflation has outstripped general inflation.
Retailing needs a strong independent sector in both food and non-food but especially food to keep the majors honest.
Extended trading hours not only has a detrimental effect on family life, but helps the major retailers increase their dominance.
The editorial " Don’t trade in tradition" makes some very good points that are worthy of consideration.
We would suggest to Mr Wallace that he consider carefully the points made both here and in that article before continuing his support of the major retailers.
IANBALDOCK Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers