Corner stores feel the squeeze
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.
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.
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…