Australian Supermarket & Duopoly (Chapter 2)

Kaustav Ghosh

Chapter II

Race for the Best

In this modern world supermarkets plays a significant role in the lives of millions of peoples of different of countries directly or indirectly. Australians in this regard not any exceptions. Specially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic past 12 months or so, supermarkets have frequently made the news headlines, with stories about the panic buying of toilet paper, grocery stockpiling, product purchase limits, and dedicated opening hours for essential workers, to name just a few. There are so many instances. Although online grocery shopping is on the rise, most people still prefer to shop in the bricks-and-mortar branches of supermarkets; in India which is known as kirana stores. Main reason of this customer behaviour is they like to check the quality of fresh produce (like fruit, vegetables, meat and fish) before they buy. Australia is home to one of the most concentrated supermarket sectors in the world. I have already mentioned the name of many operational supermarket chains of Australia. Many survey result shows that when it comes to shopping instore, satisfaction level of customers are below-

  1. Foodland (82%)
  2. Drakes (79%)
  3. Harris Farm Markets (78%)

These chains received the highest overall scores for supermarket satisfaction. They also rated higher than their competitors across various criteria including range of products and brands available, and availability of locally produced foods.

A major change in supermarkets in the past 12 months was the putting in place of COVID-safe measures to help keep staff and customers safe during the pandemic. These measures included more regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, the installation of hygiene stations (hand-sanitising liquid/sprays) and guidance around social distancing.

Overall, Foodland rated higher than most other supermarkets with a score of 76%, closely followed by Drakes with a score of 72%. At 54%, Friendly Grocer’s score was significantly lower than those for all other supermarkets, apart from Food Works (62%). Aldi received the highest score for PPE (checkout protection screens, staff wearing masks/gloves, etc).

Foodland outranked all other supermarkets in four of the criteria: –

  1. Sanitisation supplies (the availability of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitisers for use instore, for example)
  2. Social distancing (including managing the number of shoppers, markers on floor and staff enforcing social distancing in checkout queues)
  3. Cleaning (staff regularly wiping down frequently touched surfaces, for example)
  4. Tracking (the presence of QR codes to scan).

In this article we have already shown that though 67% share in the Australian supermarket belongs to the Coles and Woolworths. But there are other supermarket chains who are not only fighting it out against big two but also they are trying to take giant steps in this industry.

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