Gro­cers strug­gle to keep doors open

The Western Star - - RURALWEEKL­Y -

GREEN­GRO­CERS and smaller su­per­mar­kets are among the ca­su­al­ties of Aus­tralia’s ma­jor food re­tail­ers’ fierce price war, with more than 10 per cent shut­ting up shop in a year.

The na­tion’s largest su­per­mar­ket chains dom­i­nate the mar­ket in terms of rev­enue and smaller op­er­a­tors are find­ing it hard to re­main com­pet­i­tive, ac­cord­ing to a Bankwest re­port re­leased this month, with 280 green­gro­cers and small su­per­mar­kets ex­it­ing the mar­ket in the 12 months to June 2016.

Bankwest act­ing gen­eral man­ager of busi­ness bank­ing Robert Rees said com­pe­ti­tion was com­ing mainly from Coles and Wool­worths but the ar­rival of in­ter­na­tional play­ers such as Aldi, Kau­fland and Ama­zon-Fresh would likely drive prices down even fur­ther.

The trend is a con­cern for whole­sale fruit, veg­etable and flower mar­kets na­tion­ally, whose busi­ness re­lies heav­ily on green­gro­cers.

Mel­bourne Mar­ket Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Mask­iell said about 45 per cent of Ep­ping Mar­ket’s trade was from green­gro­cers.

Small su­per­mar­kets, provi­dores and the hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try made up the balance.

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