Dear Editor: I write in regards to your piece about ‘Grant O’Brien retires and 1200 jobs to go’.
Let me firstly say the Industry needs both Woolworths and Coles; the industry needs a profitable Woolworths and Coles; consumers and suppliers alike need Woolworths and Coles. But their current strategy and marketing programs are wrong. Their total reliance on price driven strategies has now come to bite them on the bum. And the International chains are lining up because they know they’ll win any price driven approach.
Woolworths and Coles principles have driven small business out of business. It’s one of their objectives, just ask them.
Woolworths and Coles principles have driven suppliers away from dealing with them. Small to medium producers actively promote ‘we’re not in the chains’. What rep starts a call with a negative, but that’s what happens.
Woolworths and Coles principles have driven suppliers to deal direct with the consumer. Ten years ago a winery wouldn’t dare promote their direct wine sales for fear of retribution. Go on to the web site of some of our best known winemakers and now the first thing you see is ‘Add to Cart’.
Woolworths and Coles principles have driven suppliers to de-engineer their products. For example; a volume wine supplier needs to meet budget, the Chain commits but only at a certain price, the supplier then says ok but that wine won’t see any oak chip but we’ll wheel a barrow full of saw dust past the tank as our cost of goods need to be compromised. For every action there is a reaction. No win here for the consumer.
These price driven strategies have taught the consumer to ask price first and then consider a product’s attributes later.
These price driven strategies have cost a CEO his job; cost many workers their jobs and delivered the consumer with a poorer choice.
These price driven strategies have opened the door for International competitors to offer rip off labels of lesser product quality.
Sorry Woolworths and Coles but your strategies have left us all poorer. Please tell me how the consumer is better off?
John Quinn, Quintessential Food & Liquor Market
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