Maleny protests about Woolworths have a broad base of support

The protests at Maleny by some local residents and others have generated significant national coverage including this report on the 7.30 Report current affairs TV show on the ABC.

While the residents are fighting to keep their town their town and local business owners are fighting for their businesses, I’d bet that there are plenty of executive in the offices of major suppliers quietly urging the protests on.

Woolworths is a giant as is Coles. Between them they control retail in this country through their supermarket and general merchandise stores.

Each point of growth they achieve is further control they can exert against their suppliers.

Suppliers need a healthy mix between independent and national chain stores.

It seems to me that these concerned suppliers, small businesses and concerned individuals could form a loose backroom alliance to help stop the march of these giants. For example, suppliers could fund skilled advisors to help develop and execute campaigns against Woolworths and Coles in the areas of:

  • Pharmacy integration with supermarkets.
  • Majors moving into towns and drawing other national chains with them and clonising high street.
  • Educating consumers about how the majors exert control on range.
  • Researching real price/service differential between major chains and independent retailers .
  • Funding an awareness campaign about the cultural relevance and importance of independent retailers.
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