Corner stores feel the squeeze

 In Australia, Metcash/IGA, NewZealand
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​Australia’s largest grocery wholesaler has warned that the days of nthe traditional corner store are numbered as consumers flock to major nsupermarket chains in search of $1 a litre milk and ndiscounted groceries.

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Metcash, which supplies more than 4000 independent food and liquor nretailers, is facing a 45 per cent slump in bottom line profit this yearn after cutting almost 10 per cent of its workforce and taking the knife nto its core grocery and cash-and-carry operations. This is in the face nof cautious consumer spending and ongoing price deflation, triggered npartly by discounting at Coles and Woolworths.

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The wholesaler is also counting the cost of its strategy of investingn equity and lending cash to fund the growth of independent supermarkets,n booking almost $100 million in writedowns and provisions after two nmajor customers in Queensland came close to collapse. Australian Financial Review – Read more…

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