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Commerce Commission draft report into retail grocery sector finds our supermarket companies are making 'persistently high' profits when compared internationally and 'avoid competing strongly' with each other; 'some form of intervention' needed

Commerce Commission draft report into retail grocery sector finds our supermarket companies are making 'persistently high' profits when compared internationally and 'avoid competing strongly' with each other; 'some form of intervention' needed

The Commerce Commission says competition in the supermarket sector is "not working well for consumers" and it's difficult to see the situation improving without "some form of intervention".

It also suggests a code of conduct to address a current imbalance of power between the supermarket giants and their suppliers.

And it suggests the possibility of requiring the existing market participants to "structurally separate" their wholesale businesses from their retail grocery businesses. This would likely require legislative intervention.

The commission also says it would also be possible for Government to take "more direct action" to facilitate entry into the NZ market by further major grocery retailers. This could include forcing divestiture of retail brands by existing players - although this is seen as a last resort if other measures don't work.

The commission released its draft report on the retail grocery sector on Thursday. The inquiry was ordered by the Government last year. This is the draft, which will be followed by a final report in November.

New Zealand has two major supermarket operators, Foodstuffs and Woolworths New Zealand. Both companies have their own wholesale as well as retail operations.

In its report the commission has suggested various things that might improve competition - including getting another competitor into the market.

The commission says our supermarket companies make "persistently high profits" and appear to avoid competing strongly with each other, "particularly on price".

Meanwhile, competitors wanting to enter the market or expand face significant challenges, including a lack of competitively priced wholesale supply and a lack of suitable sites for large scale stores.

The commission thinks competition in retail grocery markets would be more effective "if the major grocery retailers faced additional competitive constraints".

"The options for securing the most significant and durable improvements in competition (and consequent benefits for consumers) are likely to be those that enable an increase in the number of firms competing effectively in retail grocery markets," the commission says.

"In the long term, meaningful entry or expansion (or the real threat of it) is likely to be the most significant driver of greater competition in grocery markets.

This could involve entry by firms not currently involved in groceries, expansion by existing firms, or entry by firms already operating in adjacent retail markets such as general merchandise.

"It could also include, but is not limited to, one or more additional major grocery retailers, stronger competition from independent grocery retailers, or further online grocery offerings."

The commission says it is difficult to see improvements to competition occurring without some form of intervention.

"While we cannot be certain, in the foreseeable future we do not consider we can rely, under current competitive conditions, on market entry or expansion being sufficient to materially enhance competition with the major grocery retailers."

The commission sees two primary ways that intervention could occur:

  • measures to improve the conditions for entry by new grocery retailers, and expansion by existing firms; and
  • measures to facilitate or support entry or expansion by wholesalers or further major grocery retailers.

"Second, we consider that the imbalance of power between the major grocery retailers and their suppliers could be addressed through a number of measures, including a code of conduct."

"This might improve long-term outcomes for consumers, including by promoting investment and innovation by grocery suppliers."

This is the media release from the commission:

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into competition in the retail grocery sector has found that competition is not working well for consumers.

“If competition was more effective, retailers would face stronger pressures to deliver the right prices, quality and range to satisfy a diverse range of consumer preferences,” said Commission Chair Anna Rawlings.

In November 2020, the Government asked the Commission to look at whether competition in the $22 billion a year grocery industry was working well and, if not, what could be done to improve it.

The Commission’s draft findings are preliminary and subject to consultation prior to its final report being published in late November.

“Our preliminary view is that the core problem is the structure of the market. In competitive terms, the major retailers, Woolworths NZ and Foodstuffs, are a duopoly, and while there is an increasingly diverse fringe of other grocery retailers, they have a limited impact on competition. This is because they are unable to compete with the major grocery retailers on price and product range in order to satisfy the widespread consumer demand for a main shop at a single store,” said Ms Rawlings.

During its study the Commission observed features of the grocery sector which indicate the market is not working as well as it could be. These include persistently high profits being earned by the major retailers and high grocery prices when compared internationally. The level of innovation in the sector also appears modest by international standards.

“The major retailers appear to avoid competing strongly with each other, particularly on price. Meanwhile, competitors wanting to enter the market or expand face significant challenges, including a lack of competitively priced wholesale supply and a lack of suitable sites for large scale stores. 

Other observations which indicate the market is not working as competitively as it could be also include:

  • the complexity of the major retailers’ pricing strategies, promotions and loyalty programmes can confuse customers and make it difficult for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions
  • many suppliers have few alternatives but to supply the major retailers. This allows them to exercise their buyer power to push excess risks, costs and uncertainty onto suppliers. Suppliers report agreeing to these terms because they fear that otherwise their products may not be stocked. This conduct can reduce suppliers’ ability and incentives to invest and innovate, ultimately leading to less choice, lower quality, and potentially higher priced goods for consumers.

“Without intervention, we currently see little prospect of a new or expanding rival being able to constrain the major retailers effectively, and improve competition in the sector,” said Ms Rawlings. 

“We consider the best options for improving competition are those that enable an increase in the number of retailers directly competing against Foodstuffs and Woolworths NZ for a consumer’s main shop.” 

These draft options for recommendations include:

  • making it easier for new competitors to enter or existing independent retailers to expand by increasing wholesale access to a wide range of groceries at competitive prices. A spectrum of potential options for achieving this is discussed in the draft report. 
  • making land more available through changes to planning laws and restrictions on the use of covenants.

If these options were not feasible, had proved ineffective, or did not appear likely to improve retail competition within the desired timeframe, another potential option is to directly stimulate retail competition by creating a further major grocery retailer.  

Options to strengthen suppliers’ bargaining power with retailers include introducing a mandatory industry Code of Conduct and allowing suppliers to bargain collectively.

Options to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions and to enhance competition at the retail level include the introduction of mandatory unit pricing, as well as asking the major retailers to simplify their pricing and promotional practices, and ensuring that the terms and conditions relating to their loyalty programmes are clear.

“Our draft options encompass a range of possibilities and we look forward to now testing our draft findings and options for recommendations in coming weeks through public submissions and a consultation conference, before publishing our final report,” said Ms Rawlings. 

Comments on the draft report are due by Thursday 26 August. A consultation conference will be held in Wellington from 21-24 September, with public sessions open to media (subject to space). Post conference comments are due by Thursday 7 October. 

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

105 Comments

The recommendations are unlikely to work. We don't have the population size and concentration to overcome the duopoly.

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I miss UK supermarkets and sure hope there's a big shake up here. In recent years other international companies have started dipping their toes (H&M, Ikea etc). I'm sure there would be high demand for the likes of Aldi if they were to come here. I for one would want to let the current duopoly know how I feel about years of being exploited.

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What population size does enable competition?

By all accounts we had more competition 40 years ago, with 1/2 the population.

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You answered your own question.

40 years ago, green and yellow aren't entrenched.

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One of the consistent drawbacks with capitalism is that without sufficient legislation, overtime it will trend towards duopolies/monopolies. Hence 40 years there was likely greater competition and now we are at the present situation.

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It doesn't. That's why food is more expensive in small communities co.paeed to cities.

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Yes i worked for George Goobay 3 Guys which Pak N Save is modelled on . He told me he had to buy property without mentioning his name , he undercut the other retailers by 10% .

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Sure we do, total market size is irrelevant in this context. Also the option to “create a third retailer” is media-speak for forcing woolworths and foodstuffs to transfer some of their existing stores to a new competing entity, creating a third nationwide player literally overnight when the action is enforced.

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Market size matters because no one wants to be in a poor business.

If it's that simple in starting a new supermarket chain, duopoly wouldn't exist at the first place.

Even if we succeed, we'll end up having a tripoly- with no benefits to consumers. They may even drive prices up through competing for suppliers.

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So true. The Kiwi way is to just add another member or two to the cartel.

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While the population just roll over and accept it.

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Exactly - supermarket mergers in the UK were regulated and chains had to give up a proportion of their stores to ensure continued competition. Ultimately it took Aldi and Lidl getting a foothold to bring margins down from 8% to around 2%. Suppliers still get screwed over though

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Well...hands up who is surprised?

Another industry now determined to be rorting the NZ consumer. Like fuel, there will be lots of paper shuffling and "action" but no real change to the current situation for the actual consumer.

Next stop electricity.

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Filled up my car the other day and paid more for it than when we were supposedly being fleeced at the pump, which you don't hear much about these days.

I maintain these investigations are just a way for stagnant government to position itself as being the good guys and fighting the good fight on behalf of the electorate, and a new one will get announced just as people start asking what actually came of the final report when nothing changes.

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Must be pretty bad in Auckland now. Whenever I travel to Auckland I fill up to the top at Mobil just north of Matamata and this allows me to get there and all the way back to Tauranga. Yes if you Remember Labour said they will sort it because we were all getting "Fleeced" and then you guessed it, they did nothing.

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I am so sick of Labour and Jacinda. Can we not have a snap election and vote them out?!

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and who would you vote in?

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...

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Jacinda will be well-remembered for her superb handling of Covid, minor-celebrity husband and baby Neve - but for little else.......

Nonetheless, Labour could well be in for third term because it has no effective competition at this point. The alternatives are pretty damned unpalatable.

TTP

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they did nothing.

You mean they passed the Fuel Industry Act 2020, which begins coming into force on 11th August, next month?

https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/fuel/commissions-role-in-th…

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Filled up my car the other day and paid more for it than when we were supposedly being fleeced at the pump

Because the price of oil is up now.

New laws around petrol competition come into force on 11th August, and further in Feb next year: https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/259039/Fuel-regulati…

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Whilst i agree with the sentiment, fuel is an interesting one. Especially considering we are currently paying at the pump roughly the same as what we were paying ten years ago. (Maybe slightly more in areas with the Auckland fuel tax) There's not many items you can say that about, especially when you consider the tax increases on the product in that time. However fuel is an international product too so no amount of NZ regulation will affect the international price.

Supermarkets, Electricity etc however are our own, using largely or wholly NZ suppliers. There is a lot of power the commission and wield here - and they should.

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My counter for fuel is simple.

WTI price per barrel average closing price:
2021: $63.57
2011: $94.88

So paying the same price in 2021 would suggest we are indeed being fleeced at a consumer level.

For those who always complain. Using the barrel price as an indicator is perfectly fair, as that is the primary reason given by NZ retailers for upping the price.

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So paying the same price in 2021 would suggest we are indeed being fleeced at a consumer level.

Yeah, if you just ignore the extra taxes between then and now. Taxes which go towards paying for roads. You want roads to drive on, right?

Taxes that were increased under National, while they simultaneously promised no new taxes.

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Most petrol/diesel excise/taxes go to the general coffer. Very small proportion to roads.

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Not true.
https://www.aa.co.nz/cars/owning-a-car/fuel-prices-and-types/petrol/

77.284 cents for petrol excise, made up of:
- 70.024 cents - National Land Transport Fund
- 6 cents - ACC Motor Vehicle Account
- 0.66 cents - Local Authorities Fuel Tax
- 0.6 cents - Petroleum or Engine Fuels Monitoring Levy

- All fuels also pay an Emissions Trading Scheme levy (approximately 9 cents per litre for petrol, and 10 cents per litre for diesel).
- In Auckland, an additional 10 cent per litre Regional Fuel Tax is levied on all petrol and diesel sold in the Auckland region (since July 2018).

GST is also charged on the total amount, and that definitely does go to the generall coffer, but it's not also not an "excise tax". GST is charged on the excise taxes though, and that works out to an additional 11c.

The land transport fund is actually topped up by the general coffers; excise tax and RUC don't cover it all.

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.

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but OF COURSE it is the Nats fault - they increased the taxes.
Labor on the other hand merely introduced new levies - so much kinder.
I am sure they will go one better next time round and come up with a suitably cuddly Maori term for further increases.

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Not saying it's their fault, just pointing out they were in power for most of that time and raised the tax the most, while campaigning that they wouldn't have new taxes.

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DP

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Interesting re the Auckland regional fuel tax - Gull at Wellsford, with the regional fuel tax, is consistently a few cents a litre cheaper than Gull at Whangarei without the regional fuel tax.

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No, I'm sure you are mistaken! Max promised we would all have cheaper power forever when he "privatised" the industry. Working well from what I can see. LOL!
The Lack of Commerce Commission should never have allowed Foodstuffs and Woolworths to gobble up all the competition. The incompetence of our politicians and govt entities is truly astounding!!!!

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Its called lobbying and pays well I hear?

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All collective bargaining for suppliers will do is incentivise chains to buy their suppliers outright and reduce competition, or give them an easier way to say no to a bunch of people at once and entice those who are part of the process that they actually want to deal with to split ranks.

As for costs of entry: Far out, maybe land prices in the urban environment has something to do with why we don't see huge, sprawling supermarket competitors popping up to compete? But that would involve acknowledging the price of land is affecting living costs, so can't do that. Ever.

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It's either another competitor enters the market or regulation of food prices.
Which of these two options would they prefer?

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Out of those 2 options, regulation of food prices by a country mile. It would allow them to point to the government when paying their suppliers even less for their products. The only done side is some food farmers may convert to carbon farming.

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Another operator could easily enter the market given some a nudge - luckily we don't have you CWBW running anything of consequence with your pessimism on most things.

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"Easily" I really don't think it's that easy. Supermarkets are big, staff-intensive operations. If you're not sourcing locally then you need a buying team and an office, which you'd have to support from the takings from your store. And you'd have to pay today market prices for land to set-up stores, ideally more of them to spread fixed costs, in a city where residential housing prices have exploded. That's a huge up-front outlay for something that you're then being expected to compete on price with established existing players.

If it was that easy, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

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When you have a duopoly forcing new operators out of the market then a small nudge is needed, just like Air NZ before Jetstar arrived.

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That's my point - is it the evil duopoly forcing people out of the market, or is the criminally high cost of land in urban centres triggered by central bank policies and poor regulation of local government land management practices that are making it impossible for them to compete? If it's having such a massive effect on housing, isn't it possible it's causing massive issues for land-intensive commercial operations?

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Especially when the incumbent can use their monopoly profits to buy up land that is suitable for supermarket development. Place a covenant on the land that says it can't be used for food retail. Then sit on it before they develop themselves or on sell with the covenant in place.

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E: DP

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Trying to warm the winter for us all with your hot air?

Why don't you give it a shot.

Hey, you can accept only Bitcoins for purchase too.

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Yup its coming CW - but keep up your luddite's view for us all..maybe you can start fracking in your back yard?

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Here's my simple question for the Commerce Commission: To what extent does land prices in Auckland stop new competitors from setting up chains to compete at scale and on cost with existing market players?

That's it. One page report. Spend the money saved on consultants and extra paper on a pub lunch and take the next six months off.

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If only it was that simple. But it's not: Foodstuffs and Woolies both face the same expensive costs of land (for example, if they want to expand or sit on undeveloped land they own) as potential new competitors, so the answer is not about a lot more about these firms' scale and non-competitive practices.

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How exactly are any actions taken going to bring supermarket prices down?

The criminal RBNZ would shriek deflation and use monetary policy to push them straight back up.

This is all a waste of time, the price of everything is centrally planned and rigged. Excuses are made to look "through" price rises and heaven and earth is moved to prevent price falls.

Address this cancer first.

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Exactly - competition appears to be deflationary (at the expense of workers wages, but oddly at the gain of shareholder wealth) so do we really want competition?

The invisible hand would say yes, but the checkout operator who struggles to afford their own groceries after paying rent and utilities probably says no.

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the checkout operator who struggles to afford their own groceries after paying rent and utilities probably says no

As opposed to now where retail workers are getting a fair share of the super-profits this duopoly is raking in, eh? How will workers be worse off when legal wages can't go below $20/hour.

Are you privy to any evidence that these supermarkets are sharing those super-profits, made by squeezing suppliers and consumers, with their workers out of the good of their hearts?

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I'm privy to evidence that these supermarkets are not sharing those super-profits.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/houses/300089757/zshaped-house…

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This is a very good point. The RBNZ want your basket of groceries to cost 3-4% more each year.

It was noted the other day that inflation measures say that technology like a cell phone having more features for the same price is a form of deflation. Have the RBNZ noted that when shopping gets less convenient, more stressful / messy / difficult in general, this could be considered a form of inflation?
This is relevant because when you shop at a 'discounter' supermarket like Aldi, LIDL, you get excellent value but pay a big price in hassle-factor compared to the full priced stores. e.g. from my Switzerland former life, the discounters have a significantly reduced range, often 1-2 checkouts open with a 4-trolley queue (moves quickly) with no space to pack groceries - just shovel them back into the trolley, and you have to shop with strange foreigners (e.g. kiwis) as the real locals prefer to steer clear.

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Exactly, you have totally nailed it - the recent policies and approach of the RBNZ are financial terrorism. They have been forcing inflation and destroying the monetary base, the bond market, existing risk pricing mechanisms, the overall balance of the economy, the financial stability of NZ and existing savings, all in order to follow their faulty, ideologically motivated and shortsighted perspective. Orr must go now.

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From Interest.co 21 May 2021 so are the Australians paying too much as well ?

LETTING THE FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD MYTH
Regular readers will know that we have been monitoring grocery prices weekly for a long time (actually since 2011). Local supermarket prices are unremarkable, but our mirror monitoring of equivalent Australian grocery prices are actually quite remarkable. Since March, this standard basket has risen +14% over there, to record high levels in AU$. For this healthy foods list, it is still cheaper in New Zealand (which belies the standard unscientific barbeque conversation).

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Does the commerce commission also have concerns that the residential rental market isn't working favorably for consumers? And given that this is chewing up 50% of those consumers weekly wages, shouldn't that be the biggest concern....

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No, the last time the Commerce Commission showed any real teeth was when Telecom owned the local telecommunications loop and wouldn't let competitors install equipment within their assets.

That's right, the cost of telephones and internet connections are more important than food and housing in the eyes of the Commerce Commission.

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Its bizarre right.

At any time that rents rise faster than general inflation, the commerce commission should be investigating price gouging.

Kate would love this view - as it would fall into her rent cap concept.

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Sounds like a great idea - if only they applied it to council rates.
Councils are true monopolies - unlike landlords BTW.

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Is property within the remit of the commerce commission?

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Well they exist to protect the rights of consumers. Renters are paying for a service provided by 'businesses' (aka a consumer). Any time that rents rise faster than inflation, you could argue that consumers are being unfairly impacted by price gouging by that group of businesses.

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There's hardly a monopoly or duopoly of rental accommodation though.

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It's a strange one because yes there are hundreds of thousands of landlords meaning that it should be a competitive market, but they all appear to collude on websites like facebook property investor groups talking about how much they are all going to put up their rents. All very professional and all very fair to the consumer (the renter) who either pays the rent or lives in the street. And the worst part is that if they can't pay the price the landlords have colluded on, the government fills the gap with accommodation supplements!

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Renting is more of a subscription service than a consumer commodity, except unlike other subscription services the supply of rentals is extremely finite.

There are hundreds of thousands of landlords, but at any one time there are only 10k "competing" for business, as the rest of the supply is locked into fixed terms.

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If there is is a market that has plenty of competition, its the rental market there are no big players that control the market. If anything rents are not going up as much as house prices. Should the commerce commission investigate every time the local dairy increases their prices? There are more landlord than dairies.

from the commerce commission web site:
"We are responsible for enforcing laws relating to competition, fair trading, and consumer credit contracts, and have regulatory responsibilities in the electricity lines, gas pipelines, telecommunications, dairy and airport sectors."

The tenancy tribunal already has laws that mean landlords can't put up their rent too much. Unlike any other industry that seems to have no limits at all on prices. I do agree that rents are too high, but that is because house prices are too high, therefore insurance is high, rates are high, interest is high, and people don't have the choice of buying their own home.

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Yes must be fantastic competition because there are hundreds of thousands of suppliers in the market!

Shame that its a neccesity of live (shelter) and we have a government that limits supply (planning/regulation) and pumps demand (immigration settings).

What a bizarre market - 'free' of course, where fair competition works at its very best.

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If it were a business, it's not really anymore with the removal of interest deductibility that any business has though, is it?

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Not sure as the industry never paid business rates of lending nor any standards of quality/control. More a business when it suited for financial gain, and not a business when it came to providing a regulated service or behaving in a professional manner (in some, not all cases..)

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Fair point - but the Commission has limited resources, and so far, has allocated its market study resources to subjects the Minister has directed it to: fuel and supermarkets. If the Government wants the Commission to line up more studies of its own bat, it needs to resource the Commission so it can do so.

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yup, and so is dairy industry. do something!

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Well, who would have thunk it? This is exactly how monopoly capitalism is supposed to work. Two major players are able to use their market position to unconscionably extort windfall profits for their owners from a captive public, while bullying smaller suppliers and paying their workers minimum wages. The capital requirements needed for a competitor to enter the National market are too high for genuine competitors to enter the market. Thus unless the government is to find the spine to act decisively on behalf of consumers, these businesses will sit smugly in the status quo, forking out a few million for PR firms to try to put lipstick on a pig as well as using lobbying firms to try to water down any proposals for reform. What a truly execrable situation for ordinary New Zealanders to find themselves in.

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do something,anything effective,that is what we are waiting for,even mussolini made the trains run on time.if there was a pie-in-the -sky award our govt would be the winner.

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Wait until Costco arrive…. They’ll shake things up if their prices/available goods compare to what we saw in the UK. Can’t wait.

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Only for online or cities.
Swap one global enterprise for another.

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Some people might need to be careful what they wish for...if supermarkets are forced to drop prices (either through regulation or competition) you can bet they will squeeze growers/producers even tighter to maintain profitability. Some of the practices that go on in the UK are awful (and appeared to get worse once Aldi and Lidl arrived...).
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/supermarkets-squeeze-their-suppliers…
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/supermarkets-using-shoc…
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/23/supermarket-price-war-…

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It's the govt wanting to regulate private company's profits.

Increased minimum wages have raised costs for producers and supermarkets. Add in new leave provisions on top. Fuel hasn't got cheaper now has it.

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500gm Tasty Cheese ALDI Australia AUD 4.99 (NZD 5.36) Made in Australia
500gm Mainland Tasty Cheese Pack and Save AUD 8.26 NZD 8.89 "Extra low price" Made in New Zealand
A price difference of $3.53 or $7.06 per kg for a product we make at massive scale in NZ. A symbol of the vertically integrated shafting we are all receiving.

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Our range is garbage compared to other markets too. Here, you pay a premium for gristlely chicken mince, while in other markets you can get turkey mince. I have more choice of cat foods here with turkey in them than I do turkey for human consumption.

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But is that Aldi tasty cheese actually "tasty"? Some of the other (cheaper) "tasty" ones here are just bland plastic/rubber. Mainland is about the only mass market (relativley affordable)one with a bit of bite to it. Why people even eat colby and edam is beyond me. They're disgusting and not worthy of the name cheese IMHO.

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We are being shafted but luckily as consumers there are certain things we can do.
For example, for both cost and 'healthier diet' reasons my wife and I started buying and eating much less cheese and meat a few months ago.
Buy and eat in season fruit and veges as much as possible. Or go to markets if you can.
Luckily wine hasn't gone up much in price these last few years, and can get some drinkable international reds for circa $13-15.

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Should be a surplus of Aussie reds soon with the Chinese tariffs.

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All comments and the commission point to basically the same system but maybe more players or regulations.
Is there a better way. For instance way more focus on small and local. Why do we import so much low quality processed carbs and protein when we have an abundance of quality and quantity in NZ.
Get out of the square and maybe even do stuff like lowering our footprint

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GST 15%,there is the problem.

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Given the market is dominated by 2 big players, taking GST off groceries wont do anything. In an uncompetitive market, prices are set based on what consumers can be forced to pay, not cost + margin + tax. Take GST off food without fixing the underlying problem and the supermarkets will just take that extra 15% as profit. And why wouldn't they - people are already showing they can/will pay it now.

If Countdown can maximise profits by selling, say, cheese for $10/kg, then it will keep doing that. But instead of the price being $8.70 + GST, it'll be $10 (GST free) - and the price at checkout stays the same.

The only differences will be: (a) less government revenue; and (b) higher profits for the two big chains.

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I've found butchers meat can be better and cheaper than Countdown.

Fruitworld is pretty much universally cheaper.

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Buy a finished product from a supermarket and you pay plenty.
Buy the ingredients and do it yourself,save plenty,better for you and make a lot more.

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I did a trial last week of Hello Fresh, was pretty underwhelmed Taste was ok/quite good, but pricey and takes a lot of time to prepare!

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My sister uses Whoop, she gets meal boxes specifically to save on time.

She said Hello Fresh took ages to cook everything, and often required turning on the oven to bake stuff. But she said Whoop is much faster and comes with stuff a lot more pre-prepared and pre-packaged.

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Last qccounts show Woolworths had a profit vs turnover of 5.2%. Clearly not much room there.

Labours increase in the minimum wage will impact this years result. Add 20% to your labour costs on that kind of margin it will bite.

Typical leftwing modus operandi. Attack big business. I'm still waiting for fuel to drop. Cue Tui ad.

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How much creative accounting is going on there? How much are they paying their top employees to keep costs high and profits low, to avoid tax?

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The CC report is weakly worded and the recommendations should have been a lot stronger.

There is a clear case of a duopoly and excess profits which requires them to be broken up.

The HHI index requires about 7 companies with equal market share to get to perfect competition. (HHI

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It's not the final report.

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There's one footnoted reference to the HHI

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Banks, tertiary education etc.

What the answer? Labour building a case for more socialism / government control or ownership which will result in an inefficient unwieldy bureaucracy. Three waters case and point with more govt imposition coming daily.

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Where there is a monopoly or even an oligopoly the government should regulate the returns or require extended services to be provided that improve net wellbeing per capita.

e.g. Transpower - the government regulator limits the return Transpower is allowed to make as the monopoly transmission provider.
Even for AirNZ domestically (& effectively government owned), government could regulate that it has to provide certain regional services (if they are shown to improve net wellbeing per capita to New Zealanders)

If its monopoly or oligopoly in the private sector then the government should break them up or amend the regulations to that there is a level playing field for new entrants (i.e monopoly pricing cant be used to shut out new entrants)

The 3 Waters issue come from:
a) Many NZ councils are too small and uneconomic - there should be reform to have a much smaller number of unitary authorities
b) Local government is not strongly enough controlled by central government how it spends its money. Business cases on spending are few and far between.

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It would be a great vote winner but what's more important is it would stop the Cartel and introduce Kiwi consumers to what other people enjoy around the world . Aldi , Tesco , Walmart , Ikea . Watch the prices come down . Having experienced better retail options i cringe when i see the prices in Kiwi supermarkets .

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Whoa! All these correspondents wanting government to control our food supply...and maybe plenty of others areas of our economy too, is seriously frightening.
I've just finished re- reading George Orwell's Animal Farm...a parable of how human nature always trumps good intentions. Should be in the school curriculum.
But President Reagan's quip really sums it all up....The most frightening words in the English language..." Hi, I'm from the government & I am here to help you."
Really, the whole idea of a comfortably remunerated government funded consultant telling us how our food supply should be regulated here in "God's Own"...the last stop before the South Pole, is laughable. Will she propose the mandatory opening of 3 supermarkets in the Chatham Islands?
The answer surely lies in having our consumers to get a little more canny...maybe even watching the tv program..."Eat well for less". could be a start. But shopping around, patronize local, visit country markets, grow more of your own,...anything rather than relying on the tooth fairy!
But maybe we will be happy when gummit reduces our weekly food bill by $20, but of course will tax us $30 to pay the inspectors to police the wonderful new system.

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What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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0

What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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0

What load of rubbish reading al the comment the conversation is getting off course
selfish dreamers I am on reasonable income ,I have been shopping at my local Pak n Save in the east side of Christchurch where I have experience wrong pricing saying specials is a specials when it is everyday pricing
You bring to there attention and they do nothing.

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Aldi have previously expressed an interest , they will obviously find it difficult buy sites as others have found they get blocked out .

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Compare these prices in UK with prices here. Then you will really see how much you are rorted by. So much more here and quality far worse.

https://groceries.morrisons.com/browse/bakery-cakes-102210

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Compare these prices in UK with prices here. Then you will really see how much you are rorted by. So much more here and quality far worse.

https://groceries.morrisons.com/browse/bakery-cakes-102210

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