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Despite the dominance of Coles and Woolworths, consumers are still choosing to buy their fresh food at local fruit and vegetable shops and farmers' markets. Sarah Joy/Flickr

All out of fresh ideas: how supermarket giants send mixed messages about food

Coles and Woolworths' representation of "fresh" and "local" food reflects heightened interest among consumers about these values. But they also contributes to concerns about the supply chain.
Big can be beautiful for Australia’s retail giants. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Supermarket monsters can be agents of change

Some say the only way to smash the Coles/Woolworths duopoly is more regulation and a consumer backlash, but this assumes all power is used for evil.
The Nationals – of whom Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is deputy leader – have been agitated at the strong power of Coles and Woolworths to beat down prices of suppliers. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Government to beef up ACCC to assist farmers

Farmers will get some extra help in the battle against the supermarket chains in the government's long-awaited White Paper on Agricultural Competitiveness released on Saturday.
Woolworths chief Grant O'Brien will step down, but not before a replacement is found. Dan Peled/AAP

Woolworths forced to eat a slice of humble pie

The hubris on show at Woolworths was never sustainable, and as a result CEO Grant O'Brien will join more than 1,000 employees losing their job.
Lidl has “no current plans” to expand to Australia but that hasn’t stopped speculation. Flickr/Daniel Foster

Move over Aldi, Lidl may be next for Australian market

The possible entrance of another German discount retailer - Lidl - is bad news for the supermarket giants and good news for shoppers.
Aldi’s “no frills” approach and private labels have been very successful. Julian Smith/AAP

Is Aldi’s move to woo cashed-up shoppers a risk?

Aldi is announcing trial stores that will attempt to capture more of the middle income market. But does it risk killing the golden goose?
Men like Australian official correspondent, and later official war historian, Charles Bean (pictured on the island of Imbros, in 1915) understood the myth-making power of images. Source: Australian War Memorial

Why the Anzac legend has always been about branding

The Anzac legend is under siege by marketers trying to cash in: but the government also has a branding stake.
Whether the Harper Review might stoke competition in the retail grocery sector remains to be seen. AAP/Dan Peled

Harper Review: a mixed basket for Coles and Woolworths

Supermarket giants are predictably opposed to Harper Review's effects test, but the report is a mixed bag when it comes to other retail competition issues.
Coles has admitted it acted unconscionably towards suppliers, and a new code of conduct may not be enough to clean up the industry. Julian Smith/AAP

Too big to care: will Coles and Woolies lift their game in 2015?

Coles and Woolworths spent much of 2014 defending their behaviour in court. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought several actions against one or both of them throughout the…
Lidl: will Australian shoppers line up for another discount grocery chain? Robert Wallace/Flickr

A Lidl bit of grocery competition could cause a Coles rethink

Australian shoppers have inadvertently invited global discount grocers to our shores by demonstrating their readiness to adopt private labels. In 2001, German discounter Aldi opened its first store in…
Masters has hit problems securing good sites for its stores. Dave Hunt/AAP

Masters has machismo but needs Aldi smarts

When Woolworths delivered its half-year results in February, the numbers for its Masters hardware chain were sobering. On sales of A$393 million, Masters, a joint venture between Woolworths and US company…
The original Woolworth Company dates back to 1878. Dominic Alves/Flickr

Which Woolies is that?

The bid for David Jones from South African retailer Woolworths brings to light one curious dimension of international business - the proliferation of firms with very similar brand names but distinct identities…
A new grocery code of conduct provides new rules for a sector subject to price wars, but will not solve all market problems. Lukas Coch/AAP

Coles and Woolworths code useful, but beware disputes

Coles, Woolworths and the Food and Grocery Council have released a draft industry code of conduct to help govern their relationships with suppliers. The code will be “voluntary” under section 51AE of the…
Australian companies have done little to expand overseas, preferring the lucrative home market. AAP/Damian Shaw

Successful Australian exports: where the bloody hell are they?

Australia’s major banking, retail and manufacturing brands are often regarded as less interested in the aggressive overseas expansion being pursued by market leaders in other countries. Some have tried…

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