This report focuses on competition in the Australian grocery sector. Specifically, the report asks whether a lack of competition is an explanation for the concerns identified above. The report analyses the extent to which competition (or a lack of it) has contributed to increased grocery prices. The supply chain and bargaining power of Coles, Woolworths and Metcash (the major wholesaler to the independent sector) are given detailed attention. The competitive position of independent retailers also comes under close scrutiny, with an analysis of the factors that may make it difficult for independent grocery retailers to compete aggressively with Coles and Woolworths on price.
Grocery retailing is workably competitive, according to the ACCC, but there are a number of factors that currently limit the level of price competition, including restrictive leasing arrangements. This report makes a series of recommendations for increasing cometition.