Coles squeeze $ 12m pay­back

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

COLES will re­fund more than $ 12 mil­lion to small sup­pli­ers, on top of a $ 10 mil­lion cour­tordered penalty for il­le­gally squeez­ing them for funds.

In­de­pen­dent ar­biter Jeff Ken­nett said the su­per­mar­ket chain’s ac­tions in im­ple­ment­ing its Ac­tive Re­tail Col­lab­o­ra­tion sup­ply chain pro­gram in 2011 and de­mand­ing cer­tain pay­ments were, in some cases, un­ac­cept­able.

“As can be seen from my de­ci­sion … Coles had in 2011 clearly en­gaged in some be­hav­iour that I found to be un­ac­cept­able,” Mr Ken­nett said, be­fore con­ced­ing that Coles had al­ready made sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments in the way it deals with sup­pli­ers.

Mr Ken­nett or­dered Coles to re­fund more than $ 12 mil­lion to “tier three” sup­pli­ers, and a fur­ther $ 324,000 to sup­pli­ers in­volved in a sec­ond pro­ceed­ing, at which Coles ad­mit­ted un­con­scionable con­duct in re­la­tion to “profit gap” and waste claims and penal­ties it charged for late de­liv­ery in 2011. Coles was fined $ 10 mil­lion in De­cem­ber.

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