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Farrer Shopping Centre IGA

By 7 June 2011 41

As residents of Farrer, we were disgusted to learn that IGA has bought Wilson’s Organics and plan to open on that site.

What about the resident Farrer Supermarket, that is well-priced, well run, by Greg and Belinda, who have endeavoured to give the community a great supermarket? They even give Southlands a run for their money, often being cheaper.

Where is the incentive to invest in local business, when IGA, who are supposed to be for the local community, will come in and buy up and put the local bloke out of business?

There is a petition available to be signed at the Farrer Supermarket, so come on all you people who want to stand up for small business, take a trip to Farrer and help by signing the petition.

The ACT government has a great deal to answer for and it is up to the local community to do what is right, for the local community.

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41 Responses to Farrer Shopping Centre IGA
#1
RiotFrog4:25 pm, 07 Jun 11

You make it sound like the evil IGA forced Wilson’s Organics to sell, against their will.
Surely this is just business as usual? Build up a business, then sell it?

#2
krasny4:47 pm, 07 Jun 11

So are you Greg, or Belinda?

Seriously, though, you don’t have to shop there, and if the competition really are reasonably priced then they won’t lose any custom to an IGA.

#3
Sammy4:59 pm, 07 Jun 11

Why do you need a petition to say that you support the existing local supermarket? Why not just shop there to show your loyalty?

#4
mouthface5:54 pm, 07 Jun 11

What a bizarre post! A guy sells his supermarket and you’re disgusted? Seriously, IGA is just a buying group and made up of small business people, therefore your local IGA is just a version of “your local bloke” (IGA stands for Independent Grocers of Australia, I think). The petition is really the funniest thing I’ve heard. What do you hope to achieve? Stop someone from selling their business? Stop someone from opening a business? I’m sure there are Trade Practices laws designed to allow people to conduct their business in this normal fashion.
It seems you are upset that you are going to lose a service that you liked in your neighbourhood, and fair enough, but this is hardly cause for petitions. If it offends you so much, why don’t you buy the supermarket and keep it as it is?

#5
what_the6:52 pm, 07 Jun 11

Last I checked it wasn’t IGA that was part of the duopoly that controls 80% of the supermarket share. Go have a whinge to Coles and Woolies!

#6
Classified7:41 pm, 07 Jun 11

Residents of Farrer should be thankful for the competition bringing better service at lower prices.

#7
Watson7:55 pm, 07 Jun 11

I’m confused… What does the petition say? Who is it aimed at? What is the ACT Government’s role in this?

So many questions and I don’t even know where Farrer is!

#8
erephyshy8:15 pm, 07 Jun 11

No we are not Greg and Belinda, Wilsons Organics was a separate store in the Farrer shopping centre. The Farrer Supermarket is owned by Greg and Belinda, who will probably lose their shop if IGA opens. Is this so hard for you to understand? The petition is to stop IGA from ruining a small supermarket that is already there. The comments have been so wrong so far, we just feel for these people, we have seen them carrying groceries out for the elderly, involving themselves in the community and trying really hard to make a go of their shop. If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.

#9
Classified8:23 pm, 07 Jun 11

erephyshy said :

No we are not Greg and Belinda, Wilsons Organics was a separate store in the Farrer shopping centre. The Farrer Supermarket is owned by Greg and Belinda, who will probably lose their shop if IGA opens. Is this so hard for you to understand? The petition is to stop IGA from ruining a small supermarket that is already there. The comments have been so wrong so far, we just feel for these people, we have seen them carrying groceries out for the elderly, involving themselves in the community and trying really hard to make a go of their shop. If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.

Honestly, if it’s that good, and they have such a solid community following, then they should have nothing to worry about.

#10
Watson8:34 pm, 07 Jun 11

erephyshy said :

No we are not Greg and Belinda, Wilsons Organics was a separate store in the Farrer shopping centre. The Farrer Supermarket is owned by Greg and Belinda, who will probably lose their shop if IGA opens. Is this so hard for you to understand? The petition is to stop IGA from ruining a small supermarket that is already there. The comments have been so wrong so far, we just feel for these people, we have seen them carrying groceries out for the elderly, involving themselves in the community and trying really hard to make a go of their shop. If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.

I didn’t even know there were independent supermarkets in Canberra…

But I also don’t get how anyone can prevent someone from opening a store. Though now I think of it, a friend of mine wanted to open a clothes store in Dickson a few years ago and was prevented from renting a shop in the main drag because the owner of the existing clothes store there lodged a complaint about ‘unfair competition’ or something. I’m vague on the details now and am not even sure which authority dealt with the complaint, but the gist of it was that she argued that there wasn’t a large enough customer base to support two such stores and she won. I doubt a petition would’ve helped her cause though…

#11
cranky8:36 pm, 07 Jun 11

Bit puzzled by this.

Why would IGA buy out Wilsons Organics when there are about another 4 premises for lease, some with cojoined walls, available in the same centre.

Wilsons have built up the business, but have managed to create a shopfront most unlike any which would be considered normal for a retail outlet. IGA will spend a lot of money to reintroduce display windows/wide auto doors etc.

Having said that, I too would be sad to see the existing business damaged, and consider IGA to be really reaching the bottom if they are prepared to offer competition and wait for the existing business to close. How long do they wait?

Another major advantage held by the existing business is the Australia Post agency, which I doubt would ever be part of the IGA business plan. And Belinda is bloody good as the Postmistress. Main reason I use the business.

#12
mouthface8:37 pm, 07 Jun 11

erephyshy said :

No we are not Greg and Belinda, Wilsons Organics was a separate store in the Farrer shopping centre. The Farrer Supermarket is owned by Greg and Belinda, who will probably lose their shop if IGA opens. Is this so hard for you to understand? The petition is to stop IGA from ruining a small supermarket that is already there. The comments have been so wrong so far, we just feel for these people, we have seen them carrying groceries out for the elderly, involving themselves in the community and trying really hard to make a go of their shop. If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.

Why will they lose their shop? If they are as good as you say they are, and people in the community like what they do, then nobody will shop at the IGA and they will survive. What makes you think that the (probably equally nice) folks at the IGA won’t take groceries out for the elderly? It is a cruel fact of the free market that businesses are allowed to open and compete. I also am involved in a business, and know how hard it is, but your soft spot for your local grocer seems a little over the top. You know they are in it to make a dollar like everybody else, right? They aren’t performing some special public service out of the goodness of their hearts. They will probably have to come up with ways to keep their customer base, and judging by what you tell me, they are more than capable of providing a good service so their customers should stick with them. Other than that, I don’t see what you think will be achieved by a petition, and who is the petition appealing to anyway? Which authority figure is going to be moved by the petition to come down to Farrer shops and make everything right for poor Greg and Belinda, who – if they were thinking straight in the first place – should have approached IGA to become a member of that organisation and gained all the buying power and marketing back up given to its members, and probably gained some exclusivity in their suburb.

#13
Jethro8:41 pm, 07 Jun 11

erephyshy said :

No we are not Greg and Belinda, Wilsons Organics was a separate store in the Farrer shopping centre. The Farrer Supermarket is owned by Greg and Belinda, who will probably lose their shop if IGA opens. Is this so hard for you to understand? The petition is to stop IGA from ruining a small supermarket that is already there. The comments have been so wrong so far, we just feel for these people, we have seen them carrying groceries out for the elderly, involving themselves in the community and trying really hard to make a go of their shop. If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.

On the one hand, surely the free market will decide which shop is the better one. If Greg and Belinda run such a great shop they shouldn’t be worried.

On the other hand, I’m outraged. Competition in the market. Disgraceful.

#14
what_the8:43 pm, 07 Jun 11

You’ve failed to argue any point here. You’ve said they’ve already sold it to IGA, now there’s a petition. Are you trying to say coersion is at play? 7 people so far have no idea what you’re on about.

#15
xperfect_darkx9:06 pm, 07 Jun 11

erephyshy said :

The comments have been so wrong so far, we just feel for these people, we have seen them carrying groceries out for the elderly, involving themselves in the community and trying really hard to make a go of their shop. If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.

I’m sorry I work at an IGA, and we the staff, and the two owners regularly carry groceries out for the elderly (or those with too much to carry on their own without bothering with a trolley), the bosses have sponsored several local sporting teams, they regularly donate large amounts of bread and sausages to the local school and they too are ‘trying really hard to make a go of their shop’, how is it any different?

It’s the INDEPENDENT Grocers of Australia, and I wonder why Greg and Belinda didn’t just buy a franchise? As ours seems to be doing pretty damn well for itself.

You should also look into the IGA community chest, which donates a portion of profit from selected items to it’s chosen beneficiaries, ie. ‘for local activities the beneficiaries are chosen by the local stores’. I think that counts as contributing to the local community, no?

#16
Morgan9:09 pm, 07 Jun 11

I know, its just like those refugee types who keep coming to this country, taking our jobs and stealing our women.

I for one have had enough. I think the ACT Government should nationalise all supermarkets and all food distribution. We could then truly have “the peoples shops”, to provide the best prices all products would be the same brand and size, and available to buy in bulk. Better yet one week the shop will only have bread, the next week it would sell gherkins, the following week washing powder.

Hail Comrade.

#17
xperfect_darkx9:13 pm, 07 Jun 11

Oh and during the week we offer a free home delivery service. Okay my plugs done now.

#18
Golden-Alpine9:38 pm, 07 Jun 11

If as you say Farrer Supermarket is well priced, well run then I don’t think they will have a problem. Why do you think an IGA will put them out of business?

This could actually do well for them, it may drive more traffic to the Farrer shops.

#19
belco_matt11:16 pm, 07 Jun 11

Me no understand..

I’ve got news for you.. If your first post is correct, they will definitely lose their shop! You said, “IGA has bought Wilson’s Organics”. Game over!

Most likely it was at an acceptable price to the vendor otherwise they wouldn’t have sold it.

Or is your last post the correct one? ie; IGA are opening a store adjacent and plan to run them out of business with more competitive prices and better service?

Enlighten me.

#20
canberralocal11:34 pm, 07 Jun 11

“They even give Southlands a run for their money, often being cheaper.”

“The Farrer Supermarket is owned by Greg and Belinda, who will probably lose their shop if IGA opens.”

“If IGA goes in there it may as well be woolies going in beside them.”

Can you please rationalise your comments erephyshy? It would seem that what you have said is, the existing Farrer Supermarket is great on price and is often cheaper than Woolworths, but is now in mortal danger because an IGA, that you have identified as being equivalent to Woolworths, is about to open up in the same precinct.

Why is it in mortal danger if it is already competitive on price?

#21
belco_matt11:41 pm, 07 Jun 11

Ok after reading it again, gotta admit your first post was confusing. Two supermarkets in one local shopping centre. Got it.

Hopefully if the residents are happy with the current arrangement, they will continue to support the existing supermarket. Although I would guess, that the IGA is owned by locals (ie local to Canberra) too.

If Belinda and and Greg are running a tight ship then they probably have nothing to worry about.

#22
Classified7:32 am, 08 Jun 11

Morgan said :

I know, its just like those refugee types who keep coming to this country, taking our jobs and stealing our women.

I for one have had enough. I think the ACT Government should nationalise all supermarkets and all food distribution. We could then truly have “the peoples shops”, to provide the best prices all products would be the same brand and size, and available to buy in bulk. Better yet one week the shop will only have bread, the next week it would sell gherkins, the following week washing powder.

Hail Comrade.

You’re bloody unbelievable.

It’s ‘Komrade’.

#23
JC10:16 am, 08 Jun 11

If Woolworths or Coles had brought out Wilson’s I would place good money on people being outraged, yet somehow an IGA is ok? Hmmmm Though at the end of the day business is business and competition is competition.

#24
JC10:22 am, 08 Jun 11

mouthface said :

What a bizarre post! A guy sells his supermarket and you’re disgusted? Seriously, IGA is just a buying group and made up of small business people, therefore your local IGA is just a version of “your local bloke” (IGA stands for Independent Grocers of Australia, I think)…

Actually IGA is actually Independent Grocers of Alliance and comes from America. Guess it is fortunate that when it was brought here Australia also starts with an A, so in AUS IGA does indeed stand for Independent Grocers of Australia. The IGA brand in Aus is owned by Metcash which is owned by South African interests.

#25
Watson11:05 am, 08 Jun 11

JC said :

If Woolworths or Coles had brought out Wilson’s I would place good money on people being outraged, yet somehow an IGA is ok? Hmmmm Though at the end of the day business is business and competition is competition.

I would only be outraged if there would’ve been some foul play at work.

#26
LurkingMarsupial11:55 am, 08 Jun 11

Actually IGA is actually Independent Grocers of Alliance and comes from America. Guess it is fortunate that when it was brought here Australia also starts with an A, so in AUS IGA does indeed stand for Independent Grocers of Australia. The IGA brand in Aus is owned by Metcash which is owned by South African interests.

I’m interested to read these points, news to me, about IGA. I don’t have a problem with IGA as a group that markets specials, and I don’t have a problem with my local IGA member. I note IGA members can do good stuff, and encourage people near Ainslie to shop at Ainslie IGA this Saturday 11 June between 11am and 2pm – http://www.carrotmob.love40percent.org/.

#27
JC2:50 pm, 08 Jun 11

LurkingMarsupial said :

I’m interested to read these points, news to me, about IGA. I don’t have a problem with IGA as a group that markets specials, and I don’t have a problem with my local IGA member. I note IGA members can do good stuff, and encourage people near Ainslie to shop at Ainslie IGA this Saturday 11 June between 11am and 2pm – http://www.carrotmob.love40percent.org/.

Well here is a Wiki link to the original IGA (the American one). Note same logo, same operating premis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGA_(supermarkets)

And the Australian version

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Grocers_of_Australia

Orgianlly IGA in Australia was a brand owned by a company called David Holdings. This was then brought out by the South African company Metcash who continue to own the brand and supply most of the stores.

So yes stores are owned by locals and IGA is a tranding name and distribution system. However in Canberra some of the larger IGA stores are not owned by poor mum and dad’s but large wealthy families who control organisations such as the ACT chamber of commerce and also make large donations to political parties, who then put in place anti competition policies. Ironicly the owner of what was one of the largest IGA stores in Canberra (Charnwood) sold his business to Wollworths a number of years ago.

Would be interesting to see who the actual owners are that have brought Wilson’s Organics.

#28
mouthface8:31 pm, 08 Jun 11

JC said :

So yes stores are owned by locals and IGA is a tranding name and distribution system. However in Canberra some of the larger IGA stores are not owned by poor mum and dad’s but large wealthy families who control organisations such as the ACT chamber of commerce and also make large donations to political parties, who then put in place anti competition policies. Ironicly the owner of what was one of the largest IGA stores in Canberra (Charnwood) sold his business to Wollworths a number of years ago.

JC, I may have you all wrong, but it looks like you are implying that “poor mums and dads” are somehow more desirable as local shop owners than “large wealthy families”. Are you jealous of other people’s success? You do realise that most of these so-called “large wealthy families” are just small business people, and locals, who started out as “poor mums and dads”. Why are they not deserving of your approval now that they have succeeded? Also, what is ironic about an IGA owner selling to Woolworths? The guy was good enough to make his business so successful as to attract a major buyer. Good on him. Ultimately, all people in business do the best they can for themselves and their families, and altruism is not really their objective, unless they are successful enough to afford to “give back” to the community. There is no doubt that wealthy business people make donations, but more often than not, it is to worthy charities rather than political parties.

#29
breda11:50 pm, 08 Jun 11

Well, it’s not hard to figure out the which ‘wealthy families’ mouthface is referring to. They would be the third generation of the dirt poor Greek migrants who came here from the 1930s onward and worked extremely hard in their tiny shops and cafes, which they then bought after years of long hours and tedious graft. Since the town was so small then, and they continued to pour every penny into buying what is now valuable inner city property instead of living extravagantly, lo! their children and grandchildren and now quite well off (although hardly Macquarie banker/public company CEO level rich). And yep, they have stayed active in property, retail and hospitality, where they started.

Like anyone else, they have the right to donate to political parties if they choose to, and there is no doubt that some prominent Greek families are very active in charity and civic life. How shocking! It seems that some people think that they should have stayed in one shop per family, so that everyone else can get a fair go.

As for IGA, every successful IGA takes market share from, and puts pressure on, Coles and Woolies.

Here’s hoping there is room for both businesses at Farrer. But attacking IGA (even if multiple stores are controlled by a single owner) completely misses the point when it comes to supermarket competition.

#30
JC10:38 am, 09 Jun 11

mouthface said :

JC said :

So yes stores are owned by locals and IGA is a tranding name and distribution system. However in Canberra some of the larger IGA stores are not owned by poor mum and dad’s but large wealthy families who control organisations such as the ACT chamber of commerce and also make large donations to political parties, who then put in place anti competition policies. Ironicly the owner of what was one of the largest IGA stores in Canberra (Charnwood) sold his business to Wollworths a number of years ago.

JC, I may have you all wrong, but it looks like you are implying that “poor mums and dads” are somehow more desirable as local shop owners than “large wealthy families”. Are you jealous of other people’s success? You do realise that most of these so-called “large wealthy families” are just small business people, and locals, who started out as “poor mums and dads”. Why are they not deserving of your approval now that they have succeeded? Also, what is ironic about an IGA owner selling to Woolworths? The guy was good enough to make his business so successful as to attract a major buyer. Good on him. Ultimately, all people in business do the best they can for themselves and their families, and altruism is not really their objective, unless they are successful enough to afford to “give back” to the community. There is no doubt that wealthy business people make donations, but more often than not, it is to worthy charities rather than political parties.

Yep you have me wrong, more than happy for hardworking families to get rich, though I do have a problem when they start to use their power and money later on to prevent competition or to take out the even smaller guy. So here in Canberra we can clearly see a group who has put pressure on the government to protect their business interests through limiting competition. Yet somehow it is ok for them to muscle in on the even smaller shop owners. What I don’t like is duplicity and that is what I reckon we have here.

As for Charnwood being sold to Woolworths, the irony comes from the fact that for years they were fighting expansion of Woolworths at Kippax, but in the end where more than happy to sell to them and pocket the money. Sure good luck to them as they made good money from the sale, so great from a business persective, but again a case of duplicity in my book.

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