The Guide > Retail > Stores > Supermarkets
Both Coles and Woolworths have been criticised for the building of supermarkets in small towns despite local protests. Notable are the townships of Mossman (QLD), Thornleigh (NSW), Mullumbimby(NSW) Mittagong (NSW), Maleny (QLD), Macksville (NSW), Lane Cove (NSW), Erskineville (NSW); and recently Newport (NSW), Seville (VIC) and Woolgoolga (NSW).
Australia has one of the most concentrated grocery markets in the world. Woolworths and Coles account for over 70% of the grocery market. The biggest supermarkets in the USA, Walmart and Kroger, have combined share of 23%; Sainsbury and Tesco in the UK 47%.
- Support your local community by shopping at independently owned supermarkets.
- Look beyond the supermarkets for essentials. Find food co-ops, box systems, swap meets near you at Local Harvest. Local Harvest
- Read more about supermarkets in Australia ethical.org.au/issues
Supermarket owned brands command a 25% market share, expected to rise to 30% in the near future. For customers this means less variety, less choice and the disappearance of familiar brands from the aisles. For supermarkets it creates a shift in bargaining power further down the supply chain; Australian farmers and wholesalers have little choice but to sell through the supermarkets own brands and are forced to compete with cheaper and often heavily subsidised foreign imports.
- Find out more about the Supermarket Milk Price Wars, Video (Feb 2013) Milk Price War video (13 min)
- Support local Australian businesses and Australian manufacturing directly by buying Australia owned and made products where possible.
- If buying a house brand, look for 'Product of Australia' and 'Made in Australia' on the label over 'imported'.
- For more on house brands see our FAQ page. FAQ
With huge power and control of the market, Coles and Woolworths have been criticised as squeezing more and more concessions from suppliers.
- Coles and Woolworths have agreed to a voluntary code of conduct to help protect suppliers from the imbalance of power in the grocery market. (November 2013). ABC Background Briefing, Casualties in the supermarket war, March 2013
|Praises, no criticism|
|Some praise, no criticism|
|Praises, some criticism|
|Criticism, some praise|
Note: Ratings are based on company record, including parent companies. They are not a comment on the product itself.
> More about ratings
> More about ratings
|Outstanding product feature|