Independent grocers and petrol retailers unhappy

This is interesting: independent grocers and petrol retailers are unhappy with Coles and Woolworths (Safeway) for their Shell and Caltex partnerships. They’re now accusing the grocery chains, Coles and Woolworths for charging higher prices to their consumers, in return for petrol discounts.

Its ironic, because yesterday as I drove by several independent petrol kiosks, I noticed that fuel was about 115c/litre. This in contrast to the ~110c/litre I’d get at my favourite Shell station. I honestly did wonder, who’d actually be pouring fuel at these retailers. But I rewound back to the day before, when I was in Toorak, and I saw a whole bunch of people fuelling up at the 7-11.

Now the ACCC is involved. Now, for my anecdotal evidence time. I’ve found shopping in IGA to be more costly than shopping in Coles or Safeway. In fact, FoodWorks, doesn’t seem to be much better. Aldi occasionally has good deals (like really, cheap water), but overall, if I did my shopping, Coles seems to be cheaper, and if I’m bothered to drive a bit further, Safeway is still the cheapest. Though personally, I’d prefer Coles, as I like my 4c fuel discount, for Shell (don’t ask, I’m a Shell guy over Caltex, any day).

What do you think? Have you noticed savings by shopping at Coles or Safeway? Do you feel you’re paying more for fuel discounts, even though you don’t drive? Do you use independent petrol chains? I’m interested in hearing about the demographics…

Alas, I am glad that the ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel, is currently still reluctant to abolish these discount schemes.

2 Comments so far

  1. Jono (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

    Hey, why should these little losers compete in the marketplace when they can get our meddling bureaucrats and ACCC regulators, who are always eager for a headline, to intervene and flex their muslces against the so called big bad retailers like Coles and Safeway.

    Shame on them for serving millions of Australian consumers !

  2. gabe (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

    The difference in price between Safeway/Coles/IGA is pretty minimal compared to the difference between any of those and Aldi, which is consistently the cheapest by a mile. No good for fruit & veg though.

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