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Woolworths Monopoly in Queanbeyan

illyria 11 April 2008 108

Rumours have been circulating for a while that the supermarket in Karabar Mall in Queanbeyan is being taken over by Woolworths. Staff have apparently been advised that they need to reapply to Woolworths for their jobs.

This morning on Radio 2CC, it was confirmed by Eric Koundouris of the local Supabarn Supermarket chain that they had tried to purchase the Karabar supermarket but they had been gazumped by Woolies at the last minute.

This means that Woolies now have about 80% of the Queanbeyan market with a large supermarket in central Queanbeyan, another in Jerrabomberra and soon, Karabar Mall, leaving all of the residents of South Queanbeyan, as well as Jerrabomberra and outlying rural areas like Burra, Googong and Mount Campbell with no local choice. This means no competition on prices, and sometimes more importantly, no variety of products.

The Supabarn supermarkets in Civic and at Erindale are outstanding and offer a fantastic range of products that are just not available from Woolies. Same goes for my local IGA supermarket in South Canberra.

I am expecting the usual struggletown comments on here, but not all Queanbeyan people like to shop at ALDI or Woolies. Queanbeyan people deserve gourmet deli items, and at a reasonable price, as much as the next person!!!

Woolies are also the only supermarket to offer Home Shopping in Canberra. Another market sewn up. Come on IGA and Supabarn, if they have beaten you to the Karabar Mall and others, set up home shopping and I for one will boycott Woolies for good.


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108 Responses to Woolworths Monopoly in Queanbeyan
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ant ant 11:05 pm 07 Nov 08

I cannot imagine why anyone in their right mind would subject themselves to the massive queues at Qbn Woolies. We went to get Melbourne Cup supplies there mid arvo on Tuesday, and it was horrific.

coles Qbn continues to improve, especially in the lack of lines department. They even have checkouts sitting idle, waiting for people to come and hand over their money. I do like that.

Better food too, better home brands.

jules jules 10:33 pm 07 Nov 08

Referring to the comments about home-brand milk, I just thought I should clear some things up. Last time I heard, Dairy Farmers supplies Coles Home Brand Milk and Pura supplies Woolworths Home Brand Milk. Try Woolworths and Pura and see if you can notice a difference. Chances are you can’t, they both taste crap. Dairy Farmers is slightly better, doesn’t leave such an aftertaste and the Coles one is adequate. Coles Smart Buy and You’ll Love Coles are the same and i presume that this is the case with Woolworths Home Brand and Woolworths Select milk varieties.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:27 am 16 Apr 08

JC, I wouldn’t say the lack of sweetness is related to being ‘watered down’ as much as not having as much lactose in it! According to Wikipedia, lactose content in milk varies from 2-8%. Canberra milk has a full palate taste, ‘rich’ is the way I’d describe it. And that’s compared to milk from all over the world. I attribute Caberra milk as an influence in my 6’7″ stature and noble bone structure! lol

In the end though, each to his/her own. Drink what you like the most I say! 🙂

Duke Duke 10:31 pm 15 Apr 08

Radonzh – you’re right about the specialty items and the place looking like a deli. Loads of imported foods, weird pickled things in jars – they clearly get a lot of ethnics in there buying stuff from their homelands. No way Woolies is going to add that personal touch. I also like that Karabar has family members working the counters so you know they actually care about giving you good service, showing you where things are.

On a compelely unrelated matter I will have to work on my milk evaluation, coz mine is more of a Lager palate. I always buy Canberra milk even thought it can be a dollar more expensive than the COles equivalent.

JC JC 5:32 pm 15 Apr 08

RuffnReady, you only need to buy one of each and look at the colour and the consistancy of them. Canberra Milk is much more watery than Pura milk. As for sweetness why do you think Canberra milk isn’t as sweet? Yep because it has more water in it. Having lived in Sydney for a few years then moving back to Canberra the difference was quite noticable. Mind you this was a good 8 years ago.

illyria illyria 1:44 pm 15 Apr 08

JD114 said :

“Have Woolies bought the Canberra Centre Supabarn? I just heard a very interesting yet totally unsubstantiated rumour to that effect, the purchase price was even bandied about.”

Since Mr Koundouris has regularly appeared on local media vowing to fight Woolies in every conceivable corner, and in a recent ABC program stated that the supermarket business is his passion, I would doubt this story very much.

I agree. It sounded like a tall story to me too. The price I heard seemed way too low for a retail business of that size. Some troublemaker trying to stir things up I suppose.

JC, Canberra Milk is the least watery milk in my experience also, I have to agree with RuffnReady.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:55 pm 15 Apr 08

JC, we must have very different tastebuds because Canberra Milk is the least watered-down I’ve tasted. It has a full taste without being too sweet.

JD114 JD114 12:23 pm 15 Apr 08

“Have Woolies bought the Canberra Centre Supabarn? I just heard a very interesting yet totally unsubstantiated rumour to that effect, the purchase price was even bandied about.”

Since Mr Koundouris has regularly appeared on local media vowing to fight Woolies in every conceivable corner, and in a recent ABC program stated that the supermarket business is his passion, I would doubt this story very much.

ant ant 11:45 am 15 Apr 08

radonezh said :

The one thing I like about the Karabar Supa Barn is that it seems to be the only place anywhere in Canberra that has decent contintental food at reasonable prices. I’m sure there’re delis somewhere, but they aren’t always open and they are more expensive than is reasonable.

There’s a beaut (big) deli in the Quean B (called citylink or something nowadays) in teh middle of Qbn. Between Woolies and the Riverside Plaza. It’s open til 6.30pm most nights, and later on Thursdays. I get a lot of my groceries there, too.

radonezh radonezh 11:17 am 15 Apr 08

Duke said :

I go to the Supabarn at Karabar regularly and I’m happy with the service, prices and products.

The one thing I like about the Karabar Supa Barn is that it seems to be the only place anywhere in Canberra that has decent contintental food at reasonable prices. I’m sure there’re delis somewhere, but they aren’t always open and they are more expensive than is reasonable.

JC JC 7:22 am 15 Apr 08

Sepi, there in lies a mistake. The money you pay at an independant doesn’t always stay local. In fact most of the independants buy from the major suppliers (such as the IGA supply chain) and what they make as profit is miniscule. You will find the additional staff employed by the likes of Wollies and Coles generates more local spending money than the profit generated by a so called local.

Oh with the milk debate do rememeber with Wollies they have two ‘home brands’ The one called Wollies is the pura rebadge, the home brand (red label) is the cheaper one which may be a lesser quality. Still better than the shite called Canberra milk. It wasn’t until I lived in Sydney that I realised how watered down Canberra milk really is.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 11:46 pm 14 Apr 08

I’ve tasted milk in the US, UK, all across Europe, and Japan, and I swear that Canberra Milk tastes the best. Milk in the UK was sourer, and in Japan and the US significantly sweeter, but in the end I guess it’s what you grow up with. 🙂

illyria illyria 10:00 pm 14 Apr 08

Growling Ferret said :

There was a story about National Foods adding a watery by product to their milk…

So the 8yo is smarter than I thought.

Seriously, that is gross.

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 9:54 pm 14 Apr 08

There was a story about National Foods adding a watery by product to their milk…

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/creamed-off-by-milk-companies/2008/04/12/1207856909188.html

imhotep imhotep 9:17 pm 14 Apr 08

“Aldi doesn’t seem to be having any trouble. (entering the market)”

Yeah, right Deano. Number of Coles/Woolworths nationwide. 1,420
Number of Aldi stores nationwide. 150

Aldi consistently have trouble finding locations. They have been trying to establish a store in Dubbo for 2 years, but have twice been refused by Dubbo City Council on ‘planning’ grounds. You don’t have to be all that cynical about local government to be suspicious about where the pressure on council might be coming from.

A similar thing occurred when MagnetMart tried to establish an outlet in Tuggeranong in 2004. The authority decided that it was not ‘in the public interest’ to allow a MagnetMart there, even though the nearby Bunnings is almost always crowded. I would like to know the background to THAT decision.

sepi sepi 9:04 pm 14 Apr 08

I would still prefer my money to be going to the local owner of IGA than the shareholders of woolies or coles or overseas to aldi.

Who cares if they are buying a car or a holiday – they can’t do that with all their money.

ant ant 6:05 pm 14 Apr 08

Reprobate said :

Same with 650g white sliced bread – $3.49 for Sunblest, $2.29 for You’ll Love Coles or $1.09 for Smart Buy, again all baked at the same Tip Top Fyshwick factory, just with different artwork on the same plastic bag!

That Smart Buy $1 bread is great stuff. My mother used to buy it to feed the geese, so I’d steal it. Now the geese don’t get a look-in, they can find their own food.

JC JC 5:51 pm 14 Apr 08

Smackbang you are dead right with the full fat milk. I think you will find that the Wollies product comes from the Pura factories in Sydney, that is the only difference. There are flavour diferences with the heavily processed milk though but the full strength stuff should be the same.

Oh you guys want bad go to the UK. At least in Aus the likes of Wollies and Coles gives you the choice (even if the home brand section of milk is larger), in a UK Tesco or Sainsburys you have no choice but to buy the home brand milk.

And one last thing I am laughing my arse off people complaining about the amount of home brand product appearing, yet many here seem to support Aldi, who have about 95% of there products as home brand.

Reprobate Reprobate 5:42 pm 14 Apr 08

Seeing this dicussion has already been hijacked multiple times, my 2C worth when it comes to milk…

There are only 2 suppliers of milk to the Canberra area – Dairy Farmers and National Foods. Dairy Farmers process and package most of their milk for the Canberra region from a variety of farms in the S.E.NSW area, though sometimes their product comes from Sydney. The closest National Foods factory is in Sydney AFAIK. National Foods sells under the brands of Pura, Daisy Fresh and Woolworths (including Home Brand). Dairy Farmers packages their milk under just about every other name – Canberra Milk, Coles (both You’ll Love Coles and Smart Buy), Supabarn, IGA, etc etc. The DF milk is all exactly the same except for labels, cap colours and, for Canberra Milk, their recent big point-of-difference – the seal under the cap. Ring-a-ding-ding!

Yes for milk connesoiurs there is a huge difference in taste between the regular milk from National Foods and Dairy Farmers (with Dairy Farmers the clear winner). And if you compare the nutrition labels, as I recall the DF product is fractionally creamier (ie, more milk fat… mmmm, milk fat…).

What makes me laugh is someone choosing at Coles 2L Canberra Milk ($3.29?) over You’ll Love Coles at $2.79 or Smart Buy at $2.09 FOR THE EXACT SAME THING!!! Same with 650g white sliced bread – $3.49 for Sunblest, $2.29 for You’ll Love Coles or $1.09 for Smart Buy, again all baked at the same Tip Top Fyshwick factory, just with different artwork on the same plastic bag! Just how much do you want to get ripped off by choice? Marketing huh…

ant ant 5:28 pm 14 Apr 08

Qbn Coles own-brand milk regularly goes off before its use-by date! I buy full cream canberra milk for my coffee, for coffee is sacred. Cereal can take its chances.

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