Positive messaging wins the day.
AAP Image/Dallas Kilponen
Plastic bags will soon be gone from major supermarkets and many other shops too. Campaigns to reduce plastic even more should focus on positive advice, rather than shaming shoppers for their plastic use.
Supermarkets are stocking more of their own brands even as they shrink stores.
Supermarkets and consumers might gain from more private label brands, but Australian suppliers are likely to lose out.
Whoever buys Coles will have a huge store network.
Spinning off Coles is a great example of how good Wesfarmers is at entering and exiting markets.
Coles was once the market leader thanks to its ‘down down’ low pricing marketing.
Coles plans to compete with competitors by moving away from low prices to a focus on other attributes, such as sustainability, local produce and community.
What will we do for bin liners now?
AAP Image/James Ross
Banning single-use plastic bags makes sense, as long as it doesn't usher in behaviours that are just as bad, or worse – like over-using heavier bags made of even more plastic.
Undoing shoppers’ engrained behaviours is a tricky job.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
The success of the plastic bag ban announced by Australia's big two supermarkets will hinge on whether they can persuade customers to change an engrained behaviour - without annoying them.
Selling these new bags at 15 cents each, effectively creates another revenue stream with nearly A$71 million in gross profit.
Moves by major to supermarkets to only offer plastic bags for a charge could make these businesses more than a million dollars a year, but it may only have a small impact on the environment.
Aldi’s decidedly Germanic expansion strategy continues to eat into Woolworths’ earnings.
For consumers of Australia's retail sector, choice and convenience will continue to emerge. For incumbents unable to deliver on these outcomes, the future is bleak.
Pokies are great money-spinners for hotels, clubs and casinos in Australia, and increasingly internationally.
The harm pokies cause is widespread and tends to affect those already under significant stress. $1 bets are a good first step toward reducing this harm.
Aldi has mastered the phantom product, even though customers know it’s not a brand in disguise.
More supermarkets are starting to stock "phantom brands"- private label products without any reference to the business' brand or logo.
The success of companies like T-shirt brand Threadless shows innovation matters in retail.
It's a tough time to be a retailer in Australia, but there are some retailers that have found the formula for success.
In the past large retailers could squeeze out competitors but new challengers like Aldi are still in the game.
The big supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, will need to think of new strategies to compete with new chains such as Aldi which continue to steal market share.
“Ugly” food campaigns will not solve food wastage.
Major food retailers say they are aiming for zero food waste - but are transferring the costs onto not-for-profit groups and suppliers.
Cross-bench Senator Nick Xenophon wants the law to change to protect gift card holders when companies collapse.
It's not good to make law changes as a knee-jerk reaction, but in the case of insolvency and gift cards, it's time.
Convenience stores could be the next big focus for Australia's grocery retailing giants.
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.
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
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.
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.
The now-tired David Jones’ food halls could do with a revamp.
While grocers slug it out with discounters, the South African owners of David Jones may be planning to exploit a gap at the upper end of the market.
Lidl has “no current plans” to expand to Australia but that hasn’t stopped speculation.
The possible entrance of another German discount retailer - Lidl - is bad news for the supermarket giants and good news for shoppers.