A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Australians are fired up about the power of the supermarkets

I’ve received two calls in the last few days about supermarkets and the harm they are doing to small businesses like newsagencies. Each caller made contact as they wanted offer support for newsagents, they wanted to know what they could do to help and what we were doing to fight back against the market power of the supermarkets.

I get calls because of what I write here all the time – but not often from people who are not newsagents or connected with newsagency suppliers. These two callers were everyday people who only connect with newsagencies when they shop.

To the second caller, in response to their question when they asked how they could help, I said stop shopping at one of the major supermarkets. Their response was they could’t afford and didn’t have time to shop at the butcher, greengrocer, baker and the like instead of a single shop.

And therein lies the challenge.

People are emotionally connected to the idea of small and independent retail businesses but when it comes to time and money, the savings of both get them spending at the two major supermarket chains in growing numbers. This is the challenge for small business retailers – to address what matters most to people, to serve the selfishness of Australian shoppers.


Join the discussion

  1. Peter

    The major feed back from the Lotto petition in NSW was a lot of People where signing not so much as support for Newsagents rather as a way to bring Coles and Woolies to heel, the common feedback was Coles and Woolies are to big and control to much.


  2. eric tjie

    lets face it, there are no such thing as loyal customers, they are for themselves and their own convenients.


  3. Bruce G

    Yes I think more people hate the big duopoly than the number of people who love us. The trick will be how to capitalise on this without appearing mean minded and jealous and petty.


  4. Tony

    As Paul Keating said “always back self- interest, at least you know it’s trying.”


  5. jenny

    So frustrating, customers say they support small business but the majority of them don’t.

    They come to us when they cant get a product elsewhere and then if we don’t stock it tell us angrily that newsagents always have stocked it!
    Why would I stock something that now only ever sells because the big 2 have run out?

    We have a run on diaries at the moment because Big W and Reject Shop and Lincraft are sold out. Happens every year.

    Doesn’t anyone sell rubber tipped pencils anymore? YES NEWSAGENTS DO! Where have you looked? Coles and Woolies..

    They just don’t get it do they?

    And even though so many signed our lotto petition it will come down to convenience shopping once it is in the supermarkets.
    Rant over 🙂


  6. Garry

    A 40% increase in home delivered cost for the daily paper by Murdoch is a sure way to lose sales.
    Another way to take sales from the newsagent and send it to the supermarket.


  7. Peter B

    Lets face it, most Australians ARE cheap. They have been educated to be by big business. It is always about being cheap, not quality.
    Every day in the shop we hear time and time again, lets go to Kmart and see what they have. Cheap rubbish of coarse!!


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