The Master Grocers Association says the independent supermarket industry is at risk of being ‘annihilated’ by the unabated growth of the Coles and Woolworths duopoly.
The claim follows the release of an industry report titled “Let’s Have Fair Competition”, prepared and released by the Master Grocers Australia (MGA) and the Liquor Retailers Australia.
In a media statement released to launch the report, MGA chief executive officer Jos de Bruin said that unless regulatory authorities take action, Australian consumers would suffer as a result of limited competition.
“The Report refers to the enormous growth of the chains in the last decade and how their massive market power has resulted from practices such as anti-competitive price discrimination, store saturation strategies and shopper docket schemes,” Mr de Bruin said in the statement.
“We want a fair go for the smaller independents.
“It’s time to take action against this powerful Goliath that is growing stronger every day.
“If the regulators sit back and do nothing to foster fair competition in the grocery and liquor retail industry, then the Australian consumer will literally pay the price in the long term.”
The MGA/LRA is also calling for state and local governments to strengthen retail assessment criteria, including a retail sustainability assessment and to improve activity centre planning.
“The independent supermarket industry strongly supports competition, but we want fair competition because without it, there will be no one left to challenge the big retailers and they will become even stronger.
“For all the reasons we address in our report, we wonder if that is really good for Australia?”
The report can be viewed here