Bernie Brookes, the chief executive of Australia’s largest department store Myer, said he thinks supermarket chains would deserve any extra regulation they were slapped with by the government.
Brookes made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with the Australian Financial Review, and himself was nearly chief executive of Woolworths, after rising through the ranks after his start as a Safeway trolley boy.
“I do think the way in which they negotiate with their trading partners leaves a lot to be desired. If they do get legislation against them they deserve it,” Brookes said in the article.
Between them, Coles and Woolworths control an estimated 80% of the market in Australia.
Proposed laws were last month introduced by independent MPs which, if passed, would see these two giants forced to sell assets.
Both have been criticised for straining suppliers with unsustainable in-store prices.
“I grew up as a buyer in supermarkets and I would like to think I got the best price for the customer. I think I was tough.
“I still keep ears to the ground with a lot of people I used to deal with… and there’s no doubt they [supermarkets] can be unrelenting on suppliers and they can be quite ruthless .”
There’s more at the AFR.
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