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Grocery pricing in the ACT on the new Government site.

By astrojax 6 August 2008 27

Woolies seem to pip Coles in dairy, but otherwise Coles in the ACT conforms with the national trend.

http://www.grocerychoice.gov.au/Basket.aspx?region=11

That said, there are Aldi stores in canberra, so why not reflect them in the list?  What do canberrans reckon about this grocery-watch thing? 

And why isn’t high school maths good enough to let people work out the best price of two competing items??

[ED – sure, compare the price for 6x800ml or 4x1100ml? want a calculator]?

UPDATED: The Chief Minister has used this occasion to pledge support for competition.

Apparently this will mean another supermarket in both Kingston and Dickson (and then I will never again set foot in that stinking Woolies)

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Grocery pricing in the ACT on the new Government site.
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jakez 3:25 pm 07 Aug 08

Thumper said :

Coles and Woolies are a duopoly. They can charge what they want at any time. Thus, they can drive small independent stores out of business by keeping prices low for a time.

Ever wondered what happened to the old corner store and why petrol stations are now selling more and more consumables.

Once the independents have gone, watch the price fixing and rises.

Coles and Woolies are not a duopoly and they cannot charge what they want at any time. Please do not misuse terms that have specific economic meanings.

They are two companies that have a very large share in a monopolistically competitive market. This share allows them to influence prices and (and I put this hypothetically) engage in the behaviour you have described.

If you actually have a source to back up your claims I will be more than happy to read and analyse it. Beyond that I will neither suggest that you are correct, incorrect, or somewhere in between.

I will say that I do not believe that food provision has a high barrier to entry, however I am happy to be shown to be incorrect in that regard.

As for the corner store, it’s still there. Where do you live?

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:53 pm 07 Aug 08

There is often a ploy by supermarkets to make the bigger/larger packages of goods actually more expensive than the smaller packs

I noticed this happening with butter last year. The price of a 500g block of butter was more than twice the price of a 250g block, sometimes by as much as 20%. People seemed to catch on after a while – there’d be no 250g blocks left but a shelf full of the larger blocks.

Aldi’s ‘cents per 100g/ml’ approach is law in Germany and makes it very easy to compare similar products with different prices and different quantities. Which do you buy – the 210g pack of corn chips at $1.89 or the 230g pack at $2.15? Having a sticker that says ’90c per 100g’ and ’93c per 100g’ makes it much easier to decide, especially for stuff like beetroot that (allegedly) all comes from the same factory in the first place.

Don’t even get me started on canned products that only have to report gross weight. John West Tuna Slices in Oil 185g and Sirena Tuna in Oil 185g. Same price, same size – but one contains 60% tuna while the other contains 81%.

Thumper 12:53 pm 07 Aug 08

No, but competition policy comes firmly under the ACCC, which has always been a paper tiger.

jakez 12:30 pm 07 Aug 08

And as the report said, a lack of competition is often due to local planning problems, which also isn’t the perview of the Federal Government.

Thumper 12:30 pm 07 Aug 08

Coles and Woolies are a duopoly. They can charge what they want at any time. Thus, they can drive small independent stores out of business by keeping prices low for a time.

Ever wondered what happened to the old corner store and why petrol stations are now selling more and more consumables.

Once the independents have gone, watch the price fixing and rises.

neanderthalsis 12:21 pm 07 Aug 08

tylersmayhem said :

I think this website is just another example of the KRudd government not keeping it’s election promises.

How so Big Dave?

Well, we had a promise in the lead up to the election that KRudd would make groceries cheaper. So we had an enquiry which found that the three main contributing factors to grocery prices were the drought, international economy and pricing pressures and the lack of competition. And guess what, all three are well outside of government control and therefore KRudd can wash his hands and say “well, nothing more we can do” in much the same manner he did after the petrol price enquiry. (Deja vu anyone?)

So they set up a website to inform the public and increase competition.

They say you should never hold an enquiry unless you know in advance what the outcome will be, and the grocery price enquiry could have come up with the same conclusions by asking half a dozen peasants at the Queanbeyan woolies.

Sir Humphrey Appleby would be proud of our petty bureaucrat of a PM.

jakez 11:53 am 07 Aug 08

ED – sure, compare the price for 6×800ml or 4×1100ml? want a calculator]

No. 6×8 and 4×11 should be quite easily calculated in the head. One then has to divide the price by the total to get a price per 100mL. One can then make a decision for themselves as to whether any price improvement is worth the particular packaging.

However I realise I am a jerk that is good with numbers and that many probably can’t do this, can but with great difficulty making it not . My fiancee is one example (she has the creativity genes), so I do this for us both. I’d be shocked however if a mobile phone of today does not have a calculator as a feature.

Do they still teach times tables in schools?

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