25/01/2005 - 21:00

New retail alliance push

25/01/2005 - 21:00

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PROPONENTS of extended retail trading hours in Western Australia have launched a combined campaign to convince the public that longer shopping hours will benefit the community and the economy.

New retail alliance push

PROPONENTS of extended retail trading hours in Western Australia have launched a combined campaign to convince the public that longer shopping hours will benefit the community and the economy.

The move has been sparked by the formation of a new alliance, Choice and Convenience for All, which consists of retail industry heavyweights Retail Traders Association of WA, Shopping Centre Council of Australia, the Australian Consumers Association, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA.

The first public stage in the alliance’s campaign comes in the form of a report, compiled by ACIL Tasman, that claims extended weeknight trading hours and Sunday trading will generate greater retail sales, will benefit local suppliers, and create lower retail price inflation.

Choice and Convenience for All will also advertise the benefits of longer hours to Western Australian voters ahead of the February 26 referendum.

However, the report into economic and social benefits of extended retail trading hours does very little to address independent retailers’ claims that the major grocery chains gain significant market share when deregulation takes place.

AC Nielsen data obtained by WA Business News shows that in 2002 Coles and Woolworths accounted for 61.4 per cent of the market in WA, compared with 80 per cent in Victoria and 76.4 per cent nationally.

The AC Nielsen 2004 Grocery Report shows that, in three months up to September 26 2004, the major supermarket chains attributed to 62.2 per cent of the supply of packaged goods in WA and the independents accounted for 37.8 per cent. However, in Victoria, the major supermarkets accounted for 78.8 per cent of the supply of packaged groceries while the minor operators had 21.2 per cent. 

But ACIL Tasman executive director Ian Satchwell said there was no direct relationship between gains in market share and extended retail trading hours.

“When we did some work for Woolworths we found that there was no relationship there and that it was other things that had caused that, it wasn’t trading hours,” he said.

Choice and Convenience for All convenor Brian Reynolds, who is also Retailer Traders Association of WA manager, said operators such as Metcash had thrived in a deregulated Victorian market.

 

RETAIL REPORT

  • Markets with liberalised trading hours have a reduction in the rate of retail price increases.
  • More families are time poor and therefore need extended trading hours.
  • Retail sales in Victoria increased 48 per cent in the six years following deregulation whereas WA increased 36 per cent.
  • Increased retail sales will benefit local suppliers.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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