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$4 product takes out top spot on CHOICE's best laundry detergents list

<p>Despite many Aussie households forking out hundreds of dollars a year on laundry detergents, a new report by a consumer watchdog has revealed that some products on supermarket shelves have the same effect as doing a load of washing in plain water.</p> <p>CHOICE tested 100 laundry detergent brands and have ranked the best and worst on the market.</p> <p>Surprisingly, the top-performing laundry detergent was not a pricey option but Coles’ Ultra Front that is only $4.</p> <p>In second place was OMO Ultimate Front which retails at $21.99.</p> <p>It was followed by OMO Ultimate which is priced at $21.99.</p> <p>Aldi’s $5.69 Trimat Advanced Laundry Powder ranked fourth and OMO Active Clean came in fifth, which is priced at $10.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 457.9524680073127px; height:500px;" src="/media/7820330/top10.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/efafa64e73244c8294dfcd31b420e77a" /></p> <p>The consumer watchdog also revealed which products performed no better than water.</p> <p>The products that were ranked at the bottom of the list include Ecostore Laundry Liquid Top (46 per cent), Fab Gold Absolute Liquid Top (46 per cent), Surf Beautiful Botanicals Top (46 per cent), BioZet Attack 3D Clean Action Top (46 per cent) and in last spot, Supreme Heavy Duty Laundry Liquid Top (45 per cent).</p> <p>Does this list surprise you? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Why Woolies and Coles are refusing to serve customers with plastic containers

<p>Woolworths and Coles have come under fire for not allowing environmentally conscious shoppers to bring their own containers for deli items.</p> <p>Both supermarket companies use health and safety as reasons for the ban, but customers who have been refused the plastic-saving option are not satisfied.</p> <p>Frustrated shoppers have stated that the rule has not applied when shopping at smaller retailers as one woman said she was “very disappointed” after being denied by deli staff when wanting to use a container she brought from home at her local Coles store in Southland, Victoria.</p> <p>“When I asked the Store Manager as to why, I was told that due to hygiene reasons, company policy did not allow for this,” she posted on the Coles Facebook page.</p> <p>“I am shocked and appalled just how much plastic waste is generated in your store daily (and not just from the deli section, the fruit and veg and general groceries too), so I have taken my business to a local shop that happily allows me to use my own tongs, container and reusable plastic bags.</p> <p>“Coles, please rethink your policy and help reduce what is a massive waste issue. Thank you.”</p> <p>And she wasn’t the only one disappointed in the supermarket's policy, as other shoppers have also voiced their concerns on the company’s social media page.</p> <p>“This was a container from a previous purchase of olives from this store and was obviously clean and undamaged. The young lady seemed surprised when I said I didn’t want any if I can’t reuse my container. Well, I won’t be shopping at Coles again,” a man said.</p> <p>Competitor Woolworths also received the same treatment with several customers demanding a more environmentally-friendly alternative.</p> <p>“Would love it if we could bring our own clean reusable containers to the deli counter too, or just have products weighed and wrapped in paper,” said a user on the company's Facebook page.</p> <p>“Any plans to change your store policy about not accepting reusable containers at the deli counter?” asked another.</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/major-supermarkets-dont-allow-customers-bring-reusable-containers-084928132.html" target="_blank">Yahoo7</a></em>, a spokesperson from Woolworths said: “This is not something we can offer due to food safety and operational reasons.</p> <p>“We continue to work hard on the reduction of unnecessary plastics right across our stores, this included taking 3.2 billion single-use plastic bags out of circulation every year, and trials to remove plastic packaging from 80 fruit and vegetable lines over the next year.”</p> <p>Coles also agrees with these sentiments as it believes it’s a health and safety risk, saying it made it “very difficult for us to do a thorough investigation if a customer becomes ill and we are unsure where the used container came from".</p> <p>What do you think of Coles and Woolworths' plastic container policy? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Hospital car parking slammed as unfair as woman pays up to $200 a week

<p>Jessica Jones was forced to dip into money saved for her honeymoon to visit her sick husband in hospital.</p> <p>It was the only way she could cover his lost earnings and what she calls the "unfair" price of hospital car parking in Auckland, New Zealand.</p> <p>The cost to park the car while she was at his side in Waitākere – a city west of Auckland – and Auckland City Hospitals was up to $200 a week, she said.</p> <p>"It was just so upsetting, but I mean you had no choice but to just pay for it."</p> <p>The fees were so high partly because she would sometimes visit him several times a day – but also due to a cost of up to $20.40 a time.</p> <p>Hospitals say their fees are similar to parking at other Auckland hospitals.</p> <p>Gareth and Jessica Jones got married in April 2018, but due to his heart condition saw their savings dwindle and their dream of a honeymoon fade.</p> <p>"I just think it's ludicrous, it's really upsetting," she said of the cost of parking.</p> <p>"The prices that they charge for people who are obviously visiting sick relatives. It's a really rough time."</p> <p>Jones said her husband had used all his sick leave from work after being in hospital on and off since October.</p> <p>This made it harder to deal with the high cost of car parking.</p> <p>Jones said she asked about a parking subsidy from Auckland City Hospital but was refused on the grounds that she could catch public transport.</p> <p>She said she understood it was an option for her but the cost of public transport was similar to the cost of car parking.</p> <p>"I don't understand how elderly people do it, and people with very low income. It's really sad and just really unfair."</p> <p>Waitākere Grey Power president Mate Marinovich said he often fielded complaints about parking costs at the hospital. </p> <p>"To go in and visit the sick, and after two hours having to pay $8 to $12, that's really impacting upon everyone."</p> <p>Marinovich said for those living on superannuation, or a low income, paying for parking on a daily basis adds up quickly. </p> <p>Seven days of a full-day visit at Waitematā hospitals would cost $142.80.</p> <p>He said people often had to forgo something else so they could afford to visit the sick.</p> <p>An Auckland District Health Board spokesperson said the fees at Auckland City Hospital was similar to fees at many central Auckland public car parks. </p> <p>"When travelling to our hospitals, we encourage our patients and whānau to look at other transport options."</p> <p>She said the DHB understood parking could be difficult for patients and loved ones who experienced financial pressure. If they were staying for an extended period, the hospital may be able to help financially, she said.</p> <p>Middlemore Hospital spokesperson Mere Martin said its pricing was also comparable to other hospitals and high-demand locations around Auckland. </p> <p>"We have procedures in place to subsidise parking for visitors based on assessed financial need and length of stay."</p> <p>A Waitemata District Health Board spokesperson said they recognise the cost of hospital parking can be a challenge for some people. </p> <p>She said it was necessary to ask the public to pay for parking to pay for and maintain the existing facilities.</p> <p>"We strive to do this in a fair and balanced way that minimises financial impacts."</p> <p>PARKING COSTS (AUD)</p> <p>Waitematā District Health Board - North Shore and Waitākere hospitals</p> <p>0-20 minutes - Free</p> <p>20 minutes - 1 hour - $3.60 </p> <p>1 hour - 2 hours - $7.40</p> <p>2 hours -3 hours - $11.00</p> <p>3 hours - 4 hours - $14.90</p> <p>Over 4 hours - $18.50</p> <p>Lost ticket - $18.50</p> <p>Maximum daily charge - $18.50</p> <p>Counties Manukau Health - Manukau SuperClinic, Middlemore hospital, Pukekohe Hospital, Botany SuperClinic</p> <p>0 - 15 minutes - No charge</p> <p>15 minutes - 1 hour - $3.60</p> <p>1 hour - 2 hours - $7.40</p> <p>2 hours - 3 hours - $11.00</p> <p>3 hours - 4 hours - $14.90</p> <p>4 hours plus - $18.50</p> <p>Lost ticket $36.99</p> <p>Between the hours of 2 pm - 8 pm - 30 minutes free parking</p> <p>Auckland District Health Board - Auckland City Hospital, Greenlane Clinical Centre</p> <p>0 - 15 minutes - Free</p> <p>15 - 30 minutes - $2.70</p> <p>30 minutes - 1 hour - $3.60</p> <p>1 hour - 2 hours - $5.40</p> <p>2 hours - 3 hours - $7.30</p> <p>3 hours - 4 hours - $8.20</p> <p>4 hours - 5 hours - $9.10</p> <p>5 hours - 6 hours - $10.90</p> <p>6 hours - 7 hours - $13.60</p> <p>7 hours - 8 hours - $16.30</p> <p>Lost ticket - $18.10</p> <p><em>Written by Hannah Ross. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/106215905/hospital-car-parking-slammed-as-unfair-as-woman-pays-up-to-200-a-week" target="_blank">Stuff.co.nz.</a></em></p>

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“I worked for $2.46 an hour”: Drought-stricken farmer slams Coles and Woolies over milk prices

<p>A dairy farmer has shared a video online, which criticises Australia’s major supermarkets for paying him a painfully low wage for a full month’s work of delivering dairy products.</p> <p>In the Facebook video, NSW farmer Shane Hickey revealed he was paid the equivalent of $2.46 per hour for the month of July from retailers such as Coles, Woolworths, ALDI and IGA.</p> <p>“I'm a proud dairy farmer and I work very hard,” he said, while choking back tears in the emotional video.</p> <p>“Something's got to change. People can't expect farmers to continually work for nothing. It's basically slavery.”</p> <p class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F100010237748509%2Fvideos%2F700862226931696%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe>&gt;</p> <p>Mr Hickey revealed that production at his farm is down 50 per cent compared to the same period last year because of the drought.</p> <p>The farmer questioned where the major supermarkets would get their products from if the drought continued.</p> <p>“Water is disappearing quickly and is most likely going to be in restrictions in a very short period of time – it's looking rough,” he said.</p> <p>“So thanks Coles and Woolies, $2.46 an hour – you pay your staff more than that.”</p> <p>Mr Hickey said as well as running his dairy farm, he also has to look after his three children and pay off the mortgage.</p> <p>“I'm not irrigating at the moment because my irrigator's broken and I have to work within a budget, but there's no money in the budget so I've just got to try and do it myself,” he said.</p> <p>The video has since generated many comments from Aussies, with some calling the situation “disgraceful” and “appalling”.</p> <p>Others asked what shoppers could do to support drought-stricken farmers like Shane.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;">Daily Mail Australia</em></strong></span></a>, a spokesperson for Woolworths said the price a dairy farmer receives for milk, known as the farm gate price, is set by dairy processors and not supermarkets.</p> <p>“We know there are many Australian farmers doing it tough with the drought and that's why we've been working closely with Rural Aid to ensure more support can be provided to those impacted,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.</p> <p>While a Coles spokesman did not address Mr Hickey’s claims, he said the Coles Nurture Fund was set to provide $5 million in grants and interest-free loans for farmers.</p> <p>“Coles is also raising money in stores across the country for the Country Women’s Association’s drought relief efforts, to provide more immediate assistance, and Coles is matching every donation dollar-for-dollar,” he told<em style="font-weight: inherit;"> Daily Mail Australia</em>.</p> <p>“In just over two weeks, together we have raised over $1.8 million.”</p>

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Look out Aldi and Woolworths: Huge US supermarket heading to Australia

<p>American retail giant Walmart could soon be on its way to Australia, adding fierce competition to grocery stores such as Aldi and Woolworths.</p> <p>Coles is soon to be separated and floated on the Australian Stock Exchange by its owners Wesfarmers, which means there is room for change within the retail sector.</p> <p>Experts believe that Walmart making an investment in Coles would be an opportunity that should not be passed up, as this allows for the American supermarket to make room for itself down under.</p> <p>Sue Mitchell from the AFR wrote that the merging of UK supermarket Asda with Walmart has freed up billions in capital for the company.</p> <p>Kevin Moore wrote for <a href="https://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/retail/walmart-new-owner-coles/"><em>Smart Company</em></a> – an Australian business website, that now is the perfect time for US companies to bring their investments to Australia. With the dollar at its best and the country having a rising employment rate ensures that retail businesses would boom.</p> <p>Moore believes that it’s only a natural progression for Walmart to move to Australia as it’s a well-regulated market, there is no language barrier, and there are direct flights between the two countries.</p> <p>Alongside that, the retail chain also has experience with Aldi, who it sees as direct competition.</p> <p>Another benefit is that tax rates for American businesses have been reduced, which results in big businesses looking at investing in companies that have an established market share and earnings that are attractive enough to shareholders.</p> <p>With Wesfarmers having 20 per cent ownership of Coles and obtaining a portion of their Flybuys loyalty program, the company will become part of the top 30 listing on the ASX.</p> <p>Wesfarmers, which is a corporation based in Perth is known for having ownership of multiple farming and mining businesses alongside Bunnings, Officeworks and Kmart.</p> <p>Would you shop at Walmart if it came to Australia? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

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PM Malcolm Turnbull’s new promise: Power bills to be cut by $550 a year

<p>Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is claiming his National Energy Guarantee policy will cut power bills by $550.</p> <p>The policy, planned to start in 2020, is designed to reduce power bills, but critics fear the NEG could drive up prices instead and lead to more blackouts.</p> <p>While the NEG received a lot of support in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, a handful of MPs – including Tony Abbott – have criticised the policy.</p> <p>“We've had a good debate in the coalition party room – overwhelming support for the National Energy Guarantee,” Mr Turnbull said after the meeting.</p> <p>“[The] object is cheaper, and more reliable energy and at the same time, of course, meet our commitments to reduce emissions in accordance with the Paris agreement.”</p> <p>The legislation, which has an emissions reduction target of 26 per cent on 2995 levels by 2030 for the electricity sector, will be introduced to federal parliament this sitting fortnight.</p> <p>It is possible Mr Abbott and other critics of the policy could cross the floor when the vote is put forth in the one-seat majority parliament.</p> <p>When asked about the possibility of losing the vote, Mr Turnbull said he shared his colleagues’ concerns about power prices.</p> <p>He said the government would only make the changes through legislation, not regulation.</p> <p>“We believe in democracy,” he said.</p> <p>“We believe the parliament should have a say in this and so if we legislate that, then a subsequent government, whether it's on our side of politics or the other, would have to persuade both houses of parliament to make any changes to it.”</p> <p>The NEG is designed to cut power bills by $550 a year and requires retailers to source electricity that meets the standards of the Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets.</p> <p>Mr Abbott argued coalition MPs would be “dead wrong” to back the policy, while former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, proposed an amendment to enforce price reductions.</p> <p>“Let’s for once run a power system to produce affordable, reliable power,” Mr Abbott said.</p> <p>“The argument (to set a 26 percent target), that Labor would be worse, is no excuse for us to do something that is bad, and wrong.</p> <p>“This is by far the biggest thing the parliament has been asked to do, and we must not compromise the future of our country by entrenching in law, these bad targets.</p> <p>“Let’s have no targets.</p> <p>“I’ll be warning our party room that if we agree, they will be signing up to the deindustrialisation of our country.”</p> <p>Although Mr Abbott’s Cabinet agreed to the Paris deal, he said many factors had changed his mind.</p> <p>“Since then, we’ve seen China and India not agree to any emissions cuts, we’ve seen the United States pull out of Paris,” he said.</p> <p>“Since then we’ve seen massive economic dislocation. The 24-hour blackout in South Australia, prices go through the roof.</p> <p>“And when circumstances change, sensible people change their mind.”</p> <p>Labor leader Bill Shorten said earlier that the Prime Minister had surrendered to climate sceptics in the government.</p> <p>“The only thing guaranteed to come out of today is higher power prices and less renewable energy. We have cobbled together today a Frankenstein's monster of a policy,” he said.</p> <p>“While Mr Turnbull goes around attacking Mr Abbott, Mr Turnbull is, in fact, giving in to a lot of Mr Abbott's values when it comes to climate change and energy.”</p> <p>Greenpeace claimed there was not enough evidence to support claims the NEG would reduce power prices.</p> <p>“The government is relying on a single Excel spreadsheet to justify their claim that the NEG will reduce power prices,” Greenpeace Australia's Alix Foster Vander Elst said. </p> <p>“Either that or the government is covering up the full report on the impact of the NEG because they have taken the political gamble that risking a cover-up is better than making the modelling and assumptions behind it public.</p> <p>“There is not a single reference to a $550 price drop in this document. The government is just plucking random numbers out of the air.”</p> <p>Do you think PM Malcolm Turnbull's new National Energy Guarantee will reduce power bills? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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The letter you don't want to receive – ATO cracks down on dodgy tax returns

<p>If you end up receiving this letter in the mail, then don’t ignore it as you could be in trouble. The ATO has started cracking down on dodgy tax return claims in order to take back $1.1 billion in revenue. Which means, many Australians can expect to receive ‘data matching’ letters this year.</p> <p>The letter can be sent for several reasons. Maybe the tax payer forgot to include a PAYG summary, or maybe Centrelink payments that are classed as income were not declared.</p> <p>“The first point is don’t panic,” said Etax senior tax agent Liz Russell.</p> <p>“It means that someone has lodged a tax return that the ATO believes may not contain all the information or may contain incorrect information. The ATO is fed information from different institutions and then they do a data match with the tax return.”</p> <p>But regardless of why you were on the receiving end of this letter, don’t ignore it. The implications of doing so could mean that your tax return may be “adjusted based on assumptions”, which could end up losing you “hundreds, if not thousands of dollars”.</p> <p>But not every tax return goes through the process of being data-matched. The ATO compares tax returns through hi-tech data analysis with those lodged by people who share similar circumstances to decide whether the claim is suspicious.</p> <p>“If a refund from their perspective looks reasonable within the occupation and range, they’re probably not going to spend a lot of time chasing something up because it’s not cost-effective,” she said. “They’re certainly doing anything that falls outside the expected ranges.”</p> <p>While more people were receiving these letters, it doesn’t mean that the number of people doing the wrong thing has increased. But rather, the ATO now has access to improved technology. “Computer systems are getting much more sophisticated every year,” she said. “They’re [not] matching all tax returns because there would be a lot more letters.”</p> <p>According to Ms Russell, many people were not aware that the ATO can audit returns from two or three years after it is lodged. And if you end up finding this letter in your mailbox, you have 28 days to respond – so contact them as soon as possible.</p> <p>“If they don’t hear from you in that time they will reassess you no matter what, so you have to do something if you don’t believe it’s correct, and even if it is correct and you’ve done it inadvertently, you should contact the ATO to see if any penalties are reduced,” she said.</p> <p>When it comes to the ATO determining a penalty, there are two methods that are used. They can either apply penalty units which are at $210 each, or they use a formula which is determined by how severe the breach is.</p> <p>If you aren’t cautious enough, the formula can result in a penalty of 25 per cent of the amount owed, with recklessness sitting at a penalty of 50 per cent and intentional disregard at 75 per cent.</p> <p>“The data matching I think works in the taxpayer’s favour to some extent, because a lot of institutions are getting info to the ATO earlier all the time, the ATO will actually correct your return without telling you,” she said. </p>

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Urgent food recall: Aldi removes everyday product from shelves

<p>Aldi has recalled an everyday item, due to the presence of egg as an undeclared allergen.</p> <p>The discount retailer announced to customers on Facebook about the recall of White Mill Pancake Shake Original and White Mill Pancake Shake Buttermilk – 375g.</p> <p>“The affected batch dates are: Best Before 23/07/19; 24/07/19; 01/08/19; 02/08/19; 03/08/19,” a post on the Aldi Australia Facebook page read. </p> <p>“Consumers with an egg allergy or intolerance should not consume these products.” </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FALDI.Australia%2Fposts%2F2138840549506768&amp;width=500" width="500" height="795" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The supermarket urged customers who have an egg allergy or intolerance to return the product to stores for a full cash refund.</p> <p>This recall follows major Australian supermarkets pulling a range of <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/urgent-recall-another-frozen-food-removed-from-supermarket-freezers"><strong><u>frozen vegetables</u></strong></a> from freezers last month, following a listeria outbreak in Europe that killed nine and left dozens ill.</p> <p>The frozen vegies were sold at IGA, Aldi and Woolworths and include the brands Black &amp; Gold, Bell Farms, Market Fare and Essentials.</p> <p>For further information about the pancake mix recall you can contact the Aldi Food Recall Hotline on 1800 709 993 or visit the Food Standards Australia <a href="http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/industry/foodrecalls/recalls/Pages/White-Mill-Pancake-Shake-Original-and-Pancake-Shake-Buttermilk.aspx"><strong><u>website</u></strong></a>.</p>

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The secret to Aldi’s success

<p><strong><em><span>Tom Osegowitsch</span> is a senior lecturer in International Business and Strategic Management at the University of Melbourne and Angela McCabe is a lecturer in Management at La Trobe University. </em></strong></p> <p>Dick Smith has laid <a href="https://www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/25.7.18-DS-closure-of-Dick-Smith-Foods-both-letters.pdf"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>the blame</strong></span></a> for closing his Australian-made processed food lines squarely at the feet of Aldi Australia.</p> <p>He <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/25.7.18-DS-closure-of-Dick-Smith-Foods-both-letters.pdf">accused</a></strong></span> the German retailer of “extreme capitalism” and warned the CEOs of Woolworths and Coles that “unless your companies move towards [Aldi’s limited range and high proportion of private brands], you will very likely become uncompetitive”.</p> <p>But this betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Aldi’s strategy and the limits of its appeal in the Australian market.</p> <p>An important element of Aldi’s strategy is a severely limited range of “preselected” products, overwhelmingly private brands. The company’s smaller range (some 1,500 store-keeping units as opposed to 20,000 to 30,000 in a large Coles or Woolworths outlet) <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.thecasecentre.org/educators/products/view?id=106173">has several advantages</a></strong></span> – in terms of store footprints, warehousing infrastructure and supplier discounts, to name a few.</p> <p>A proportion of these savings are <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/supermarkets/articles/cheapest-groceries-australia"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>passed on to consumers</strong></span></a> to ensure their appeal with households wanting to stretch their shopping dollars further.</p> <p>This strategy and disciplined execution propelled the company’s growth.</p> <p>From its first two stores in the Sydney suburbs of Marrickville and Bankstown, Aldi gradually expanded across the eastern seaboard. It was not until 2016 that Aldi started opening stores in South Australia and Western Australia.</p> <p>These new territories promised significant growth opportunities while store openings in the established territories were largely restricted to gap-filling.</p> <p><a href="http://www.roymorganonlinestore.com/Browse/Australia/Retail/Supermarket-Currency-Reports/Supermarket-Fresh-Food-Currency-Report.aspx"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>By 2018</strong></span></a>, Aldi was operating more than 500 outlets around Australia and claiming roughly 13% of the Australian supermarket industry. Aldi’s gain in market share has overwhelmingly come at the expense of the smaller, independent supermarkets (IGA-affiliated as well as others).</p> <p>Coles and Woolworths have chiefly <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://theconversation.com/woolies-private-label-strategy-will-play-directly-into-the-hands-of-aldi-56914">responded</a></strong></span> to Aldi through price cuts and by boosting their share of private brands. While competition in the Australian supermarket sector has increased, it remains a lucrative oasis in comparison to international markets.</p> <p><strong>Low-hanging fruit is gone</strong></p> <p>As its stores now span the entire nation, Aldi’s growth can be expected to slow down. The company is unlikely to “turn on” and overwhelm Coles and Woolworths, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/25.7.18-DS-closure-of-Dick-Smith-Foods-both-letters.pdf">as Smith predicts</a></strong></span>, because of the inherent limitations of the Aldi formula.</p> <p>Aldi has successfully appealed to a particular segment of the market. It is a segment of shoppers prepared to trade low prices (coupled with sound product quality) for a variety of conveniences offered by traditional supermarkets. These shoppers readily accept Aldi’s highly restrictive range of product, the lack of manufacturers’ brands, and austere stores with minimal service at the cash register or in store.</p> <p>The company has also been successful in expanding this segment, by convincing a growing number of people to do at least part of their shopping with Aldi and accept the trade-off at the heart of its offering.</p> <p>But the majority of Australian shoppers prefer to do (the bulk of) their shopping with the two incumbents (Coles and Woolworths <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry-trends/market-research-reports/retail-trade/food-retailing/supermarkets-grocery-stores.html">who still account for more than two-thirds of the market</a></strong></span>) as well as a shrinking number of independent supermarkets and a growing set of alternative sources such as farmers’ markets or subscription-based retailers (Costco).</p> <p><strong>Strategy has limits</strong></p> <p>Aldi exemplifies strategy scholar Michael Porter’s <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://hbr.org/1996/11/what-is-strategy">dictum</a></strong></span> that the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. In embracing the “Aldi way”, the company has made hard strategic choices. Its strategy appeals to a sizeable segment of the Australian public.</p> <p>But it’s turning away shoppers who value things other than what’s on offer at Aldi – larger choice, established brands, more service, plusher stores, in-store bakeries and delis or expanded fresh food sections. As a result, Aldi’s growth in Australia is going to reach its limits.</p> <p>As far back as 2016, CEO Tom Daunt <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.afr.com/business/retail/aldi-australia-gets-fresh-as-sales-exceed-7-billion-20161101-gsfels">acknowledged</a></strong></span> that growth opportunities were slowing in existing territories. He also acknowledged the onset of cannibalisation between existing Aldi stores, a sure-fire indicator that their segment was becoming saturated:</p> <p><em>Increasingly those stores on the eastern seaboard are less often in virgin catchments and more often than not for the majority of those stores there is some impact on other existing Aldi stores.</em></p> <p>A <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/retail/aldi-stores-cannibalising-each-other-ubs/#.WoJgTNkpwa0.twitter">recent UBS report</a></strong></span> also picked up the increase in cannibalisation among Aldi stores. UBS analysts suggested Aldi store cannibalisation in South Australia and Western Australia was reaching levels not far behind the more established territories.</p> <p>This indicates that saturation might be achieved sooner in new markets, and puts <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/aldis-onslaught-on-australian-retail-may-be-slowing/news-story/566a105ec757dc85895e1f3a7799ec23">growth objectives</a></strong></span> in these states in doubt.</p> <p>Since its arrival in 2001, the company has benefited the Australian public by injecting much-needed competition into the local grocery retail scene, thereby boosting Australian consumers’ spending power. While its success is testimony to the appeal of the Aldi formula, growth will inevitably peter out and the company will not overrun Australia’s existing retail giants.</p> <p>Aldi’s experience in Australia exemplifies the benefits as well as the limitations of clear and focussed strategy.</p> <p><em>Written by Tom Osegowitsch and Angela McCabe. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/the-secret-to-aldis-success-is-choosing-what-not-to-do-100671" target="_blank"><strong><u>The Conversation</u></strong></a>. </em></p>

Money & Banking

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The four-hour event at Coles set to divide shoppers this weekend

<p>If you are planning on doing your grocery shopping at Coles this Saturday, you may need to factor in some extra time to complete the chore.</p> <p>This Saturday, select stores will be bustling with crowds as Coles shoppers who are collecting ‘The Little Shop’ figurines will have the option to go to swap sessions to trade their mini items.</p> <p>The supermarket launched ‘The Little Shop’ promotion last month, which allows customers to collect tiny versions of 30 store products.</p> <p>The promotion, which awards shoppers one collectable for every $30 spent, was widely popular, even prompting some to sell complete sets on eBay for $1000.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:269.140625px;" src="/media/7820183/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1b4a9cf301fe44738f25a3b3e838c2a7" /></p> <p>A Coles spokesman told<span> </span><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/"><em><strong><u>Yahoo7</u></strong></em></a><span> </span>‘The Little Shop’ promotion had proven successful with shoppers.</p> <p>“We know there are swap groups forming all over the country from Port Augusta in South Australia to Mackay in Queensland all the way to Ellenbrook in Western Australia. In addition, we are holding an official Swap Day in 37 supermarkets across the country on Saturday 11 August.”</p> <p>Despite its popularity, the promotion did receive some backlash as the miniature plastic collectables became available shortly after the national ban of single-use plastic bags.</p> <p><strong><u>Stores participating in the swap day</u></strong></p> <p> <strong>NEW SOUTH WALES</strong></p> <p>• Burwood — Wilga St &amp; Shaftbury Rd, Burwood </p> <p>• Westfield Eastgardens — Bunnerong Rd &amp; Wentworth Ave, Pagewood • Warringah Mall — Pittwater Rd &amp; Cross St, Brookvale </p> <p>• Charlestown — 1 Smart Street, Charlestown</p> <p>• Kellyville — Kellyville Plaza, 50 Wrights Rd, Kellyville </p> <p>• Marketown — Marketown King St &amp; National Park St, Marketown</p> <p>• Penrith — Station St &amp; Reserve St, Penrith </p> <p>• Westfield Bondi Junction — 500 Oxford St, Bondi Junction </p> <p>• Newcastle — 204 Union St, Newcastle </p> <p>• Bateau Bay — The Entrance Rd, Bateau Bay </p> <p>• Erina — Erina Fair S/C, Terrigal Dve, Erina</p> <p><strong>VICTORIA</strong></p> <p>• Chadstone — 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone </p> <p>• Southland — 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham </p> <p>• Craigieburn — Craigieburn Rd &amp; Windrock Av, Craigieburn</p> <p>• Waurn Ponds — Pioneer Rd &amp; Princes Hwy, Waurn Ponds </p> <p>• Hoppers Crossing — 50 Old Geelong Rd, Hoppers Crossing</p> <p>• Roxburgh Park — Somerton Rd, Roxburgh Park </p> <p>• Brimbank — Neale Rd &amp; Station Rd, Deer Park </p> <p>• Casey Centra — Cranbourne Rd, Narre Warren </p> <p>• Fountain Gate — Princes Hwy &amp; Magid Dr, Narre Warren</p> <p><strong>SOUTH AUSTRALIA</strong></p> <p>• Churchill — 390 Churchill Rd, Kilburn </p> <p>• St Agnes — 1244 North East Rd, St Agnes</p> <p>• Gawler — Cnr Murray &amp; Cowan Sts, Gawler </p> <p>• Marion — 297 Diagonal Rd, Oaklands Park</p> <p><strong>QUEENSLAND</strong></p> <p>• Robina — Robina Town Centre Dr, Robina </p> <p>• Indooroopilly — Moggill Rd, Indooroopilly</p> <p>• Pacific Fair — Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach Waters</p> <p>• Maroochydore — Horton Pde &amp; Maroochydore Rd, Maroochydore</p> <p>• Earlville — 537 Mulgrave Rd, Earlville</p> <p><strong>WESTERN AUSTRALIA</strong></p> <p>• Ellenbrook — 11 Main St, Ellenbrook </p> <p>• Ocean Keys — Ocean Keys Bvd &amp; Key Largo Dr, Clarkson </p> <p>• Eaton Fair — Cnr Eaton Dr &amp; Recreation Dr, Eaton </p> <p>• Belmont Forum — 227 Belmont Ave, Cloverdale</p> <p><strong>TASMANIA</strong></p> <p>• Glenorchy — Main Rd &amp; King George V Ave, Glenorchy</p> <p>• Meadow Mews — 102 Hobart Rd, Kings Meadows</p> <p><strong>ACT</strong></p> <p>• Amaroo — Horse Park Dr, Amaroo</p> <p><strong>NORTHERN TERRITORY</strong></p> <p>• Coolalinga — 405 Stuart Hwy, Coolalinga</p>

Money & Banking

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Why Prince Harry inherited more of the Queen Mother’s $24m fortune than Prince William

<p>When the Queen Mother passed away on March 30 in 2002, aged 101, she left behind an AUD$24 million fortune.</p> <p>Great-grandson Prince Harry inherited a large “bulk” of her inheritance, substantially more than his older brother Prince William, but there’s a good reason why.</p> <p>It turns out the Queen Mother, knowing Prince William was second in line to the throne, wanted to ensure Prince Harry’s financial future was secure.</p> <p>When Prince Charles becomes King, Prince William will in turn takeover the title of Prince of Wales – which means inheriting the Duchy of Cornwall and its private estate.</p> <p>However, Prince Harry – who is currently sixth in line to the throne after Prince William’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – will not receive anything.</p> <p>A BBC report the same year the Queen Mother died stated the “bulk” of her $24 million estate will go to Prince Harry “since William will benefit financially becoming King”.</p> <p>While it is unknown the exact amount the Duke of Sussex inherited, his great-grandmother certainly rewarded the royal in financial terms, to compensate for his line of succession to the throne.</p> <p>The rest of the Queen Mother’s estate (the items in her homes) was left to her eldest daughter Queen Elizabeth II. Her youngest daughter Princess Margaret passed away one month earlier on February 9, 2002, aged 71.</p> <p>When Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana passed away in 1997, her sons received an equal split of her fortune.</p> <p> </p>

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The Aussie discount mall that is beating the big-name retailers

<p>It has long been known as the shopping outlet full of old stock and factory seconds, but DFO is now attracting more Australian and overseas tourists than ever before.</p> <p>In the past eight years, DFO has increased its traffic by 40 per cent, welcoming 17 million customers across the country every year. Its sales have also grown at twice the rate of the national retail sector.</p> <p>Australian Bureau of Statistic figures show total retail spending grew 2.5 per cent in May year-on-year, whereas DFO’s tenants’ sales grew 5 per cent last year across its centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.</p> <p>Apparel sales were leading the growth at DFO, up 12 per cent in the past two years. Industry wide spending on apparel grew at 3.2 per cent.</p> <p>But it has taken up to a decade for the factory outlet to change its reputation.</p> <p>Queensland University of Technology retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said DFO was initially seen as a dumping ground for old stock.</p> <p>“It had odd sizes, end of range season clothing, outdated styles and colours,” he told <strong><u><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/dfo-is-growing-at-twice-the-rate-of-the-national-retail-sector/news-story/0cd6c97b0742c130b6a456ec46313ee5">news.com.au</a></u></strong>.</p> <p>But Vicinity Centres, which owns the DFO brand licence in Australia, has overhauled the factory outlet.</p> <p>“When you come to DFOs you’re having a better experience in getting the sizes that you like, and the quality of brands that you like,” Vicinity Centres DFO regional general manager Justin Blumfield said.</p> <p>DFO has recently expanded its portfolio to include better quality local and international designer brands. Some retailers are even stocking items specifically for their DFO outlets.</p> <p>“Now, more than a third of retailers have stock specifically for DFO including Coach, Michael Kors and Portmans,” Mr Blumfield said.</p> <p> “We are seeing premium quality outlets delivering high levels of occupancy and income growth,” Mr Blumfield said.</p> <p>The general manager said outlet shopping was the fastest growing sector of the industry and wants to position DFO as a “destination” for discount sales.</p> <p>“We’ve got a clear strategy at the DFO which differentiates ourself from traditional retail — so we feel that it can complement the traditional shop rather than cannibalise it,” he said.</p> <p>Do you shop at DFO? Do you prefer it over traditional retailers? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

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NAB admits to charging 4000 dead customers fees

<p>The National Australia Bank (NAB) has become the latest financial institution revealed to be deducting fees from dead customers.</p> <p>The claims were confirmed during the Royal Commission as the bank’s superannuation comes under scrutiny.</p> <p>The former chair of NAB’s superannuation trustee Nulis, Nicole Smith, said the error was discovered after NAB went through its books in May, after similar allegations were made against the Commonwealth Bank in April.</p> <p>NAB admitted charging more than 4000 dead superannuation customers advice fees.</p> <p>NAB has also been accused of charging customers for no service, after some members were billed for financial advice when there was no adviser attached to their account.</p> <p>Earlier, Ms Smith admitted there was a “conflict” when bankers behind the overcharging of fees were asked to review whether customers should be refunded for the error.</p> <p>Counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Michael Hodge QC, is examining the case of NAB charging fees but providing no service, which has now seen customers being refunded up to $122 million.</p> <p>Mr Hodge said there was a conflict that the people who had levied the fees were also being asked to recommend to the superannuation trustee board if there was a need to compensate customers.</p> <p>“It is hopelessly conflicted isn’t it? If it is the one (doing the review) that has taken the money and has to pay it back,” Mr Hodge asked Ms Smith.</p> <p>“Yes, there is a conflict in terms of the revenue,” she said.</p> <p>When he continued on the point, Ms Smith said: “I believe it is conflicted — but not hopelessly conflicted.”</p> <p>In 2016, NAB spent five or six months discussing ways to keep the wrongly charged fees from their superannuation members, although the bank denied trying to avoid the refund to customers.</p> <p>Ms Smith claimed there was “appropriate representation” from the trustee working with NAB, outside legal advice and the review process was considered independent.</p> <p>The commission heard that at one stage NAB proposed reviewing the delivery of services based on “fair exchange value”, not on whether the service had actually been provided to customers or not.</p> <p>The Australian Securities and Investments Commission rejected the proposal.</p> <p>Ms Smith agreed with ASIC, saying: “You can't charge a fee unless you've actually provided a service.”</p> <p>During the commission, Ms Smith admitted that she did not challenge the bank on some of their internal processes which led to the scandal. </p>

Money & Banking

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Centrelink's big crackdown in this Aussie state

<p>As the government hits back against dole bludgers, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) is starting its crackdown in the area with the most welfare cheats in the country.</p> <p>Those cheating the systems in Werribee, a suburb in Melbourne’s southwest, can expect to see investigators when they next pay a visit to Centrelink, after it was identified as the country’s dole bludging hotspot.</p> <p>Investigators from the AFP and Federal Department of Human Services (DHS) will be sent to the Werribee and Sunshine Centrelink offices.</p> <p>Officers will also be located at Pacific Werribee Shopping Centre, so members of the public can provide tip-offs.</p> <p>Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has encouraged the public to come forward if they know of someone who was cheating the welfare system.</p> <p>“Tip-offs are an important source of information for investigators and it is not uncommon for fraudsters to be dobbed in by their own families or neighbours if they are doing the wrong thing,” he said in a statement.</p> <p>This crackdown will see people with a history of cheating the welfare system, or those with suspicious activity on their case files, targeted for “snap audits”.</p> <p>When Werribee was last investigated in 2015, it was found that almost $11 million worth of benefits were being taken by 2600 individuals who weren’t entitled to payments.</p> <p>In the previous operation, 19 of these investigations were carried out across Australian and Werribee was found to have the highest number of dole bludgers.</p> <p>“The dollar figure was the largest from a single site in the taskforce’s three-year history and represents more than one quarter of the $40 million in debts that have been raised from a total of 19 operations conducted right across Australia,” Mr Keenan said.</p> <p>Mr Kennan said those who made a genuine mistake when receiving their benefits shouldn’t worry about the investigation.</p> <p>“This operation is not about penalising people who make genuine errors. Its focus is on enforcing the law and targeting those who deliberately set out to commit welfare fraud,” Mr Keenan said.</p> <p>The investigation is part of an ongoing joint operation between the AFP and DHS, which first started three years ago.  </p>

Money & Banking

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Shocking Commonwealth Bank statement shows why credit card limits must be capped

<p>A whopping 1.9 million Australians are struggling with credit card debt, a recent report by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has found.</p> <p>It remains the number one issue facing callers to the National Debt Helpline, with the problem so huge that in February this year, ASIC was tasked with setting up a cap on credit card limits, based on an amount that can be “affordably repaid” within a set period.</p> <p>In a joint submission to ASIC’s credit card <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/consultation-papers/cp-303-credit-cards-responsible-lending-assessments/">responsible lending consultation paper</a>,</strong></span> the Consumer Action Law Centre, Choice, Financial Counselling Australia and the Financial Rights Legal Centre called for the cap to be limited to two years.</p> <p>“A two-year assessment period would ensure that Australians are not trapped in long term, expensive credit card debt,” the submission said. “We consider that this proposal would significantly reduce the consumer harm being caused by inappropriate credit card product design and lending practices.”</p> <p>Take Mary’s story contained in the submission; she’s a 79-year-old age pensioner who has been struggling to pay off a $1500 credit card debt for 15 years, because of the accumulating interest.</p> <p>Or Assam’s story, a 58-year-old disability support pensioner, who has been unable to work since 2003 due to ill health. His bank CommBank has given him no fewer than five credit cards and jacked up his limit on his CommBank Mastercard from $2000 to $44,600 in 2015.</p> <p>His credit card statement from January 2018 reads: “If you make only the minimum repayment each month, you will pay off the closing balance shown on this statement in about 146 years, five months. And you will end up paying estimated total interest charges of $340,604.78.”</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/33ea379623497e971a82a88c0ad627ea" alt="Assam’s CommBank credit card statement." width="650" height="366" /></p> <p>Consumer Action Law Centre senior policy officer Katherine Temple told <strong><u><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/banking/you-will-pay-off-your-balance-in-146-years-five-months-cbas-centuryandahalf-debt-trap/news-story/9cb48ba1668ae4a47d9498ea4de2e927">news.com.au</a></u></strong>: “People who are in persistent credit card debt are actually very profitable to the banks.</p> <p>“People who are struggling to make ends meet tend to be the ones that pay the most in interest and fees, so trapping people in a cycle of credit card debt is often in the banks’ interests.”</p> <p>She added: “Banks have designed and marketed credit cards in a way they are setting many people up to fail. What we see is people often don’t get to the point of default, they are constantly just making the minimum repayments but not really getting ahead in terms of the principal amount owed.</p> <p>“In the industry they call them ‘revolvers’ and ‘transactors’. The intention is to keep people revolving, always having a balance that’s accruing, rather than transacting where you pay the balance off every month.”</p> <p>Although credit cards have always been subject to responsible lending obligations, the assessment has been based on people’s ability to repay the minimum amount, which means people could be left paying off the same debt for decades.</p> <p>The new ASIC rules, which will apply to all new cards issued after January 1, 2019, has been welcomed by consumer groups who have long argued credit cards have “been designed to trap many people in long-term, expensive debt”.</p> <p>Ms Temple said it was “just another example of the banks designing their products in the way that makes them the most money rather than in a way that helps people’s financial wellbeing”.</p> <p>“If they were serious about doing the right thing they would be promoting savings more and selling us products that suit our needs, rather than trying to trap us in decades of debt,” she said.</p>

Money & Banking

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Coles backflips on plastic bag ban AGAIN

<p>Plastic bag bans have been successfully implemented all over the world – why can’t Australia get it right?</p> <p>Just when we thought the plastic bag drama was over in our nation, supermarket giant Coles has backflipped on its decision yet again, and it’s causing furore.</p> <p>The plastic bag ban has divided the nation since it came into effect, and now Coles has announced it is reversing its decision to remove plastic bags, with the store now offering reusable plastic bags for free – indefinitely.</p> <p>The supermarket chain removed single-use plastic bags from all of its stores on July 1 in NSW, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, after it copped major backlash.</p> <p>However, Coles ended up offering customers reusable plastic bags – for free.</p> <p>August 1 was supposed to mark the cut-off date of handing out free plastic bags, but the supermarket giant confirmed to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/coles-has-backflipped-on-its-bag-ban-offering-customers-free-reusable-plastic-bags-indefinitely/news-story/4b4fdc9fffdebc8a8f48d7b0e9145979">News.com.au</a> that it is going to continue offering the reusable plastic bags for free – and which normally cost 15 cents each.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/330c9036c5d44236a58e46aea3503e04" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7820034/coles-embed.jpg?width=500&amp;height=281.25" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/330c9036c5d44236a58e46aea3503e04" /></p> <p>A spokesperson from Coles went to great lengths to justify the company’s plastic bag ban backflip to news.com.au.</p> <p>“When Coles phased out single use plastic bags on 1 July in QLD, NSW, Victoria and WA, some customers told us they needed more time to make the transition to reusable bags,” the spokesperson claimed.</p> <p>“We’ve been delighted to see customers grow more accustomed to bringing their reusable bags from home, so they are relying less on complimentary bags at the checkout.”</p> <p>They continued, “Many customers bringing bags from home are still finding themselves short a bag or two, so we are offering complimentary reusable Better Bags to help them complete their shopping.</p> <p>“Complimentary bags are intended to be an interim measure to help customers make the transition to reusable bags.”</p> <p>The spokesperson concluded, “We will continue to listen to our customers and our teams’ members on an ongoing basis to assess when customers have become accustomed to bringing their own bags, and will provide them with as much notice as possible.”</p> <p>Coles’ backflip decision has caused furore amongst environmental groups and social media users.</p> <p>Jeff Angel, director of environmental group Boomerang Alliance, told the <em><a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/companies/coles-spectacular-plastic-bag-ban-backflip-leaves-environmentalists-outraged/news-story/4af949f050fe541956eee52826f85528">Herald Sun</a></em> last week that it’s a “weak act”.</p> <p>“These so-called reusable plastic bags are almost as thin as the banned lightweight ones,’’ Jeff commented.</p> <p>“They have a very limited life and the removal of the price signal also means they are more likely to be littered – something we warned about.”</p> <p>And social media users have been vocal also.</p> <p>Twitter user @ch10033 wrote, “What is the point of the reusable plastic bags! If Coles is going to hand them out for free, they’re going to be just as disposable as the original ones!”</p> <p>While @kristenbubb declared, “Poor move today @Coles. How will change ever happen if plastic bags are continually given out for free? #WarOnWasteAU</p> <p>And another: “What on earth is @Coles doing? Flip-flopping all over the place regarding bags now they are continuing to give reusable bags away. There is no reason to. If coles actually care about the environment they would do what they intended in the beginning,” said @TheSupremeRanga on Twitter.</p> <p>What do you think about Coles backflipping on its decision to ban plastic bags? Do you take your own shopping bags when you go grocery shopping? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

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First look: “Woolworths 3.0” store opens in Queensland

<p>Woolworths has unveiled its most modern store in Queensland at Racecourse village in Ascot.</p> <p>Dubbed internally as “Woolworths 3.0”, this new supermarket store is unlike any Woolies you’ve shopped at before. The new store includes a drive-through service area to collect your online shopping, an expanded range of ready to eat meals and made to order cakes.</p> <p>Woolworths Queensland state manager Matthew Franich said the Ascot was a premium offering for the premium catchment area.</p> <p>“This is a next generation store, it’s the result of us listening to our customers and working with their insights and understanding how their shopping expectations have changed whether it be the product or whether it be how they actually shop with us between pick up, online or coming into the store,” he said.</p> <p>The new premium store will also feature an onsite butcher, a machine making fresh flat bread, a “cheese cave”, flame roasted rotisserie chickens as well as an expanded range of health foods.</p> <p>The drive-through pickup feature will include an app to alert you when your shopping is ready and dedicated park spaces, so you don’t need to leave your car.</p> <p>The supermarket has also introduced “Ready to Create” meal kit bags similar to Hello Fresh, Youfoodz or Marley Spoon. It is the first meal kit concept available at a mainstream Australian retailer.</p> <p>The new store draws on elements of the renewed Marrickville Metro store in Sydney, but there are some extra new features added for Brisbane shoppers.</p> <p>“Customers responded positively to the new elements we included at Marrickville Metro ...However Ascot customers will have access to new features as well, like on-trend Poke bowls from the Sushi bar,” Mr Franich said.</p> <p><em>Scroll through the gallery above to have a look inside the new store. </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Coles kicks off fresh chicken price war

<p>Coles has kicked off a new price war with rival supermarket Woolworths, slashing the price of its chicken breasts to the “lowest in years”.</p> <p>The supermarket has reduced the price of its RSPCA-approved fresh deli chicken breasts from $9/kg to $8.50/kg nationwide.</p> <p>Woolworths’ chicken breasts usually cost $10/kg, although this week the price is temporarily $9/kg.</p> <p>Chicken is the most popular meat consumed in Australia, surpassing beef which has been in decline since the 1970s.</p> <p>Coles director of fresh food Alex Freudmann said in a statement: “We know that poultry products are bought by three-quarters of all households and that chicken breasts are our customers’ favourite cut, because they buy tens of millions of kilograms over the course of a year.”</p> <p>He added: “We believe that dropping the price of our RSPCA-approved chicken breasts, along with the great value Coles delivers on poultry across the deli and meat case will encourage customers to stick with our chicken, when its price is going up elsewhere.</p> <p>“This is yet another example of Coles working closely with our suppliers to invest in value for our customers and lower the cost of living for Australian families.”</p> <p>Earlier this year in March, the staple roast chook came under the spotlight with a <strong><u><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/food-wine/2018/03/say-goodbye-to-cheap-chooks-at-coles-and-woolies/">$1 price hike by both supermarkets</a></u></strong> described as an “industry-changing event” by one analyst.</p>

Money & Banking

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Coles announces game-changing plan

<p>Coles is set to launch a revamped loyalty program that could give it the edge over Woolworths in the supermarket wars.</p> <p>Called Flybuys Max, the new program will give shoppers 5 per cent off all fresh produce and free delivery on online purchases in return for a $10 monthly or $99 annual fee. Coles currently charges between $4 and $18 for online delivery.</p> <p>To sweeten the deal, Flybuys Max subscribers will also be offered cheap movie and theme park tickets and even access to an online film streaming service.</p> <p>Coles has taken a page out of online retail giant Amazon’s book, with its subscription service which provides free delivery, access to streaming services and discounts products.</p> <p>Marketing Focus’ Barry Urquhart told finance expert Ross Greenwood Coles has “underperformed” online.</p> <p>“At the moment, online and home delivery is not performing. They’ve got to reach out and get better engagement with their customers,” he said.</p> <p>Woolworths currently has a service called Delivery Saver that costs the same as the new Coles subscription, but only offers free delivery if a customer spends more than $100 in a single transaction. There are also no extra offers such as discounts off products.</p> <p>Coles told <strong><u><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/coles-trialling-flybuys-max-which-offers-shoppers-free-online-delivery-and-product-discounts/news-story/d5494ed3f5ee232823f8c93af1edb291"><em>news.com.au</em></a></u></strong> the Flybuys Max is currently a “trial” and there’s no rollout date yet.</p> <p>However, Flybuys general manager Alex Chruszcz said the feedback had been “very positive” from the customers who had trialled it, but the final product might change.</p> <p>“Flybuys Max has been developed to offer members a range of compelling long-term benefits they want like discounts on fresh food, movie tickets and theme parks, free Coles Online delivery, bonus Flybuys points at Coles Express and online video streaming.</p> <p>“It’s currently being tested with a small group of members so that we have the best possible offers available when it rolls out nationally.”</p> <p>Gary Mortimer, a professor of marketing at Queensland University of Technology, said Flybuys Max would mainly benefit customers who regularly shopped online, a market worth more than $3bn a year.</p> <p>“It’s a smart move getting ahead of the game and it really is the first move Coles has made ahead of Woolworths for the last couple of years.</p> <p>“Online shopping represents around 3 per cent of total food and grocery sales, so while it’s still a small proportion of the market, it’s certainly growing as more and more people choose this particular channel.”</p> <p>But he noted Coles’ larger rival would see Flybuys Max as a threat.</p> <p>“I imagine Woolworths will be very, very quick to do something similar,” he said.</p>

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Dick Smith lashes out at Aldi: “When will enough be enough?”

<p>Aussie entrepreneur Dick Smith has slammed Aldi, calling out the German supermarket chain for sucking wealth from Australia.</p> <p>Mr Smith wrote an open letter to the discount retailer’s owners Karl Albrecht Jnr and Beate Heister, after Aldi was named the most trusted brand in Australia and our most profitable supermarket chain.</p> <p>Mentioning how Aldi is employing less staff per dollar turnover compared to Australian owned supermarkets, Mr Smith asked: “When will enough be enough?”</p> <p>In his letter, he asked if the owners have plans for “endless expansion” and continual price reductions.</p> <p>He wrote: “Will these goods, just like your peanut butter, come from countries like Argentina where wages are extremely low?</p> <p>“Won’t this mean our Australian farmers and food processors will never be able to compete with such low prices?</p> <p>“You are privately owned, so it is not possible for Australians to share in the wealth creation of your company, and you also don’t have the costs of publicly listing on the stock exchange which would result in the employment of many additional Australians.”</p> <p>Mr Smith highlighted how supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths and IGA were predominantly Australian owned, with tens of thousands of Aussie shareholders.</p> <p>He said Aldi’s “phenomenal success” had taken away billions of dollars of business from existing Australian owned companies.</p> <p>Mr Smith recalled his conversation with Aldi’s chief executive in 2000, then Michael Kloeters, who revealed why Aldi was opening in Australia.</p> <p>Mr Smith said he was told: “Dick, in Germany if we don’t keep expanding we would be going backwards. Our plan is to expand throughout the world.”</p> <p>In his letter he also mentioned Australia’s unemployment rate, saying that less Aussies would be employed because of the German company.</p> <p>“We already have a problem in Australia,” he said.</p> <p>“We have 14 per cent youth unemployment and over 20 per cent youth underemployment — that is, where our young people can’t get a proper full time career.”</p> <p>He said the discount retailer was “basically sharing wealth less”.</p> <p>“Your father, who started the great expansion of the company, worked out that by having a lesser selection of products, you could therefore employ less workers,” he said in his open letter.</p> <p>“This would result in lower prices and higher profits.</p> <p>“This plan has worked incredibly well in Australia. So well that the larger Australian owned supermarkets are criticised by many, while your company is praised.</p> <p>“I have an important question to ask you. When will enough be enough?</p> <p><span style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit !important;">He also accused the brand of going against Australia’s tradition of openness and being secretive.</span></p> <p>“Can I ask why you are so secretive? Surely being worth $30 billion US dollars (that’s $40.63 billion Australian dollars) you have a responsibility to be open and explain your long term plans to all those who are affected.”</p> <p>Aldi Australia chief executive Tom Daunt responded to the letter, saying that the company employs more than 11,500 Australians and partners with more than 1000 Aussie suppliers.</p> <p>“We continually refine our exclusive brands together with our suppliers while supplementing these with other popular national brands,” Mr Daunt said.</p> <p>“As a privately owned business we have never sought to ‘maximise’ profits at the cost of something or someone else. Rather, we opt for long term sustainable growth strategies.</p> <p>“We are proud to have influenced the entire grocery sector, which has led to price deflation benefiting all Australian shoppers.</p> <p>“Our estimates suggest that we are saving Australians more than $1.5 billion per year.</p> <p>“This is money that is returned to the economy for bills, holidays, education and other vital expenses.”</p> <p>What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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