tip off

Supermarket bullies and private labels (and why it’s so hard to find ice cream)

Woolies reckons Aldi rips off name-brand products. But it should look at its own shelves first. Crikey’s business editor reports on a new code of conduct that could shake up the supermarkets.

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Tips and rumours

Murdoch delivers rebuke on contrition … reader rumbles Coles stunt … SMH management in harbourside junket? …

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Free-range egg labelling cracked, but definitions are scrambled

The label “free-range eggs” is virtually meaningless, with no minimum standards and no legal definition in most states. Hard-boiled Crikey intern Sasha Petrova cracks the matter open.

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The cream of the crop: dairy farmers celebrate new milk deal

Murray Goulburn’s deal to supply Coles with milk will be good for Australian farmers, writes Gippsland dairy farmer Marian Macdonald. But only in some regions …

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Win for farmers as $1 milk headed down the drain

It’s been more than two years since the $1 milk price war began. But are Coles and Woolworths indicating that the end of the war is in sight?

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The Power Index: biz directors, Bob Every at #7

Bob Every is responsible for a lot of jobs as chairman of retail giant Wesfarmers and building products manufacturer Boral. But the corporate veteran who helps steer the country’s biggest retailers — and dolls out big salaries to its bosses — would rather talk about his charity work.

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Woolies wants room to move, but only for itself

Woolworths CEO Grant O’Brien insists the company has to grow more aggressively to stay ahead of overseas rivals Aldi and Costco. But the argument doesn’t stack up.

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THE POWER INDEX | COMPANIES|

Ian McLeod: retail bigwig who reignited the supermarket war

The appointment of Coles CEO Ian McLeod saw a re-ignition of a supermarket battle that has raged in Australia for the past four years, writes Amber Jamieson.

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Retail not so tough, says Wesfarmers’ bottom line

The latest Wesfarmers profit disproves a couple of things that many in business and the media are eager to sell: that times are tough and profits are hard to come by in retailing.

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Smith v Murdoch, others — an excess of vanity publishing

Launching: Dick Smith’s Magazine of Forbidden Ideas That You Won’t Read About in the Mainstream Media. Even in today’s depressed print market it’s a curious offering, writes David Salter.

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Keane: TV networks’ peculiar definition of free speech

The television networks’ refusal to screen an approved ad for GetUp! demonstrates their hypocrisy over free speech.

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Rise of a food villain: but is permeate as mild as milk?

You probably hadn’t heard of permeate a few months ago. And yet now it’s a food super villain. How did we get here, asks Georgie Moore?

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Coles strike-breakers: who’s who at the Somerton stand-off

The community picket outside the Coles distribution centre in Somerton is unlikely to be broken up by Victoria Police, even if the Supreme Court slaps an injunction on 25 activists involved in the dispute with employer Toll Holdings.

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THE POWER INDEX | LINKS|

Richard Goyder: the man who convinced Wesfarmers to acquire Coles

Few CEOs would describe a major acquisition requiring a five-year turnaround strategy as “fun” but that’s Richard Goyder: a low key footy-mad family man, writes Angela Pristley.

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AFL admission: turns out pokies are a bad look

The AFL has announced overnight that it wants to help its clubs wean themselves off poker machines, writes Charles Livingstone, of Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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A rate cut won’t stop Harvey Norman’s profit slide

A 0.5% rate cut can’t stop this sort of slide in retail sales and more importantly, profits.

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Coles slams whingeing suppliers — what about the morning after?

The delicate balance between the retailer and its suppliers is out of whack, writes Kath Walters, editor of LeadingCompany.

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Business Council on its ‘poor productivity’ high horse again

There was more bleating this morning from the Business Council about high-cost, poorly productive Australia, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Frustration not fear keep farmers mum on retail wars

The ACCC has offered protection to whistleblower farmers and grocery supplies if they report price gouging by supermarkets. But for those on the land it’s still easier said than done.

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Crikey Blogs | COMPANIES|

Farmers will attack the govt but not their supermarket giant customers

Farmers appear to have no qualms about attacking the government, but the raised fist turns into a cat’s paw when the time comes to criticise their largest customers, the retail giants, writes Matthew da Silva.

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Normie’s ‘no hormones’ ad only appeals to hormone replacement set

Normie Rowe is “fuming over claims he’s sold out to big business” by appearing in the infamous “no added hormones” meat ad for Coles supermarkets. But the real story is that it’s just so awful.

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The Enthusiast | COMPANIES|

Coles cheap beer deal goes down the drain

Last night Coles Online offered slabs of James Squire and Coopers beer for just $15.99, due to an apparent technical glitch. Should the company have just offered to honour the accidental price?

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Copycat Coles and their lookalike products

Ever noticed that products on the supermarket shelf sometimes look kind of similar? This video by mUmBRELLA reveals the extent to which Coles brand products are packaged very much like their competition.

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Hydrapinion | ADVERTISING|

Coles Sports for Schools promo a first class clunker

A Coles promotion involving free sports gear given to selected schools might sound like a good idea, but the token-hungry system they have devised is ridiculous, writes Ian Grayson.

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Bartholomeusz: planning a Woolworths honeymoon

Michael Luscombe would be reasonably satisfied with Woolworths’ performance, in the circumstances, as he prepares to hand over responsibility for the retailer to Grant O’Brien.

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