Sunday, August 09, 2009


Let me see. ACCC, Australia Competition and Consumer Commission, what not a corporation? Everything must be a corporatised now.

It is there to enforce the Trade Practices Act. You know, fair trading, ensuring competition etc etc. Essentially protecting the smaller fry in Australia from the predatory large business practice.

While I may agree they did quite well with cardboard boxes, thereby adding a couple of cents to my pocket each week, I am not sure they are doing so well in the big picture.

It is disingenuous to call Safeway/Woolworths different to Caltex. Who are they trying to fool? So life is now down to basically two supermarkets, Woolworths with Caltex and Coles with Shell calling the shots on petrol pricing, possibly a good bit more than just price. Hmmm, how did that happen then? What did the ACCC do to prevent what is pretty well a duopoly. How did they act to protect independent petrol retailers? Given how many have disappeared, not very well. Where is the giant Mobil petrol company retailing? How much longer can BP hold out with such poor sales?

Of course the above is all complicated further by the petrol wholesalers and refiners behind the mucky retailers.

Speaking of supermarkets, what happened to the small independents? Pretty well eaten up by the big ones I would say. Who would have known the repercussions of the big rocket that appeared on the outside of the new modern supermarket in Australia, Coles New World. A new world it is.

I am sure Aldi is ok, but it is not a normal supermarket as we know them. Has Costco opened yet? Again, it is not a normal supermarket.

Trade practices must extend surely to mobile phone companies. Clear and easy to understand plans should be required. Hands up who agree phone plans set out to be confusing?

Hardware stores? Bunnings, owned by the same owners of Coles isn't it, will soon be omnipresent.

Banks? Reduced to four large ones and a couple of newer start ups and a large foreign one. Let me see. Our first mortgage was with Hotham Permanent Building Society, eaten up by REIV, eaten up by a small bank, eaten up by a bigger bank and then a bigger one again. Westpac promised when they took over Bank of Melbourne, they would retain all branches and continue with Saturday morning trading. Did anyone think to get that in writing?

Dan Murphy, the grog shop that dropped prices to killer low levels, now owned by Woolworths. Fortunately they have not managed to kill off smaller groups......yet.

ACCC, a fail, miserably.


  1. I shop at my local IGA whenever I can, however I've been doing online shops lately and they don't do that :(
    I remember when I was a kid all the locally owned and run supermarkets we'd go to, none of this big corporation nonsense.

  2. My mother's local supermarket, Ritchies (isn't that an IGA too?), delivers and accepts cod.

  3. yeah i think they are an IGA. The main reason I've been doing it is my health hasn't been wonderful, hence I don't want to traipse around the store. My local IGA doesn't deliver, I did check not long ago.

  4. I received some sad new on the weekend that King's Family Supermarket in Kyabram is on the way out. After years of battling the likes of Franklins and Safeway they're finally caved in and sold. If I remember correctly they celebrated 60 years as a family business when I was a little tacker so they'd be pushing 75 or 80 years now. Thankfully IGA has stepped in, so some good will still be done for the community.

    In other news from country towns, Forbes and Summers garage in Girgarre no longer sells fuel. As the only place that did they decided not to keep on, thanks to the discount schemes making it too difficult for them.

    Do you reckon the ACCC has given any thought to the fact that their inaction is killing our country towns? Nah, probably not.

  5. Fenz, how does your online shopping go? Work well?

    Gee Mutant, even a place the size of Ky can't support an independent. I used to always use small petrol retailers. Now there are none left to use.

  6. Some bank branches in Sydney are opening again on Saturday mornings.

    There was a Franklins in Edgecliff when I moved here twenty years ago which did very well in competition with Woolworths down the road in Double Bay but it has now been taken over by Coles.

    Then we had an IGA open up in Edgecliff but it didn't last. That space has now been taken over by Aldi.

  7. Victor, have you been in the same apartment for twenty years? Funny that Aldi seems to do ok in ritzier areas.

  8. 20 years in January.....