Consumer NZ has launched a petition calling on Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark to go beyond the Commerce Commission’s recommendations in its report on the grocery sector, in order to bring about stronger competition.
The Commission found Foodstuffs and Woolworths are making more than $1 million of excess profit every day. They refute that, saying their profits are not excessive and that the report also said profit margins were in line with other global retailers.
But Consumer says the profit levels are unacceptable at a time when many factors are causing grocery prices to rise.
“People are really concerned, they’re struggling to make ends meet” says Gemma Rasmussen from Consumer.
She says it’s reasonable for supermarkets to make a profit, but current levels are excessive and mean households are paying $1000 to $1200 more than necessary on groceries each year.
Consumer also says the duopoly is so entrenched that other potential operators are unable to break into the market to provide serious competition.
“We need more competition to drive down prices and give consumers better choices.
“We need the public’s support to make this happen. There’s power in numbers and we need to convince the Government to take action.”