MGA slams Coles and Woolworths push to change trading hours

COLES and Woolworths' calls to further deregulate trading hours across Australia have been attacked by the union that represents the independent grocery and liquor retail sector.

Master Grocers Australia released a statement urging shoppers not to be "misled by the mistruths presented by the big two".

"This move is aimed at delivering even more market share to the Coles and Woolworths duopoly," MGA Chief Executive, Jos de Bruin said.

"And it will come at the expense of independent grocers which are typically family concerns."

The MGA pointed to a survey of consumers conducted by Patterson Research in WA that found 88% of consumers surveyed were very satisfied with current trading hours.

"The Big Two already control more than 75% of the market," Mr de Bruin said.

"Not content with that, they now want to change the laws in a way which they know will destroy the one small area where independent grocers are competitive: the ability to open an hour or so earlier than the big two and gain a small share of the market."

"Coles and Woolworths are in fact two sides of the same coin. We have already seen the duopoly act as one when it comes to predatory behaviours in buying up major new sites to muscle out any competition. 
"Now they want to flex their muscles further by extending trading hours to the detriment of smaller retailers.

"Our local communities need to be sustainable and vibrant - not just a support system for Coles and Woolworths."



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