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FAL considering fuel scheme

SPECULATION is mounting that FAL is putting together a plan to counteract the petrol-retail plans of its rivals Coles and Woolworths.

Both Coles and Woolworths, through their respective associations with Shell and Caltex, are offering a 4 cents-a-litre discount on petrol providing the shopper spends more than $30 at their stores.

The FAL option would be a reverse of the Coles and Woolworths offers and would involve its associated super-markets Action, Supa Valu and Dewsons.

According to the information obtained by WA Business News, the FAL plan would involve a shopper bringing in his or her fuel receipt to an FAL store. Providing that person spent more than $30 at the checkout, the store would give a 4 cents-a-litre discount on that petrol receipt.

Essentially it would be a reverse fuel discount scheme to those advertised by Coles and Woolworths.

The rumours also suggest that the offer would be limited to 60 litres, meaning that the total discount per shopper would be about $2.40.

Adding some credence to the industry talk are reports of a meeting held between independent fuel producers and some retailers at the Motor Trades Association on November 28.

MTA executive director Peter Fitzpatrick said he could not comment on the outcome of those discussions.

It is understood that FAL was not involved in those discussions.

Earlier this week an FAL spokesman said the company would not comment on any such plan.

“I can neither confirm nor deny,” he said.

Independent Grocers Association president John Cummings, who also operates two Dewsons supermarkets, said if there was going to be any announcement of a fuel-retail plan it would not be made before Christmas.

“They are having some talks and they are looking at all possibilities,” he said. 

“There is even some suggestion that FAL will look at buying a fuel company.”

Wholesaler Metcash is trialling a similar approach to the one rumoured to be under consideration by FAL.

Mr Cummings said the reverse fuel discount scheme raised one major concern – who was going to pay for it?

“My understanding is that in the Queensland model Metcash was paying for the discount,” he said.

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