Monday, 18 June 2012

One of the big supermarket

chains launched an assault over the weekend with renewed claims that they were "listening" to their customers and making changes. Nonsense.
Woolworths does not listen to their customers. They listen to their bottom line. Any big supermarket chain is the same. They are there to make a profit.
I rarely enter Woolworths. There is a particular type of tea my father likes that is (locally) only available there or I might never go in at all.
I did once but the place changed beyond recognition many years ago. It went from being "the local supermarket" run by faces the local people knew to a store which almost doubled in size and halved in value.
The "new approach" claims they will have butchers working where you can see them and that you will be assailed by the smell of "fresh baked bread" as you enter. It says that signage will make it clear where your "fresh" fruit and vegetables are coming from.
It will solve none of the problems I have with Woolworths. Woolworths aisles are now filled with "WOW" brands...Woolworths' Own. Far too many of these have been introduced at the expense of other brands. We are told that WOW is cheaper and that the quality is not the same but "better". I look at where it is sourced from and how it has been sourced and wonder how many people have lost their jobs because it has not come from local sources.
Woolworths, like their main rival Coles, has "buying power". Between them they own the vast majority of supermarkets in Australia. They may be rivals but they also collude. It would be foolish to believe otherwise.
They advertise too. Customers pay for the advertising of course. They will also pay for the new plans to be implemented. None of it will come free - whatever they might tell the customers.This is the supermarket chain that changed the debit card rules to suit themselves, hauling in yet more profit. It is the supermarket chain where the assistants look shocked when I tell them that I do not have a loyalty card and no, I do not want one. I hand over old fashioned notes and coins to pay for my purchases.
What I buy is recorded on their computers when I go through the checkout. They do not need to know precisely who I am and bombard me with more advertising for which I will pay.
And sadly, I can see our other locally owned supermarket having to go in the same direction. They will have to do it simply in order to survive. They take pride in trying to source locally and look after the local community but even they have resorted to one "self-serve" checkout.
So far only a few have used it. Most of us prefer contact with one of the friendly university students they employ.


jeanfromcornwall said...

It is no better up here. At the moment, at a time when dairy farmers are struggling to stay afloat, the wholesalers have cut the price paid to the farmers. This will drive even more of them out of the business, and increase the number of the so-called mega-dairies with all the animal welfare issues associated.

This kind of thing is happening all through the food industries.

I buy my milk from a farmer, in the monthly Farmers' Market - completely untreated. It keeps fine in the freezer.

catdownunder said...

I hate what they do to the cows here too...and the hens etc. We can't get milk like that but I do buy free range eggs from the greengrocer because he buys them from a source he has personally checked. (Our greengrocer amazing - very strong on supporting locals.)
Our food producers should be given support - much more important than the bottom line for shareholders in supermarkets!