Woolworths’ purchase of Supa IGA Karaba opposed by ACCC

Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of the Supa IGA store in Karabar, NSW has been opposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Supa IGA Karabar is an independent supermarket that sells a range of groceries and liquor along with an attached liquor store (trading as Liquor Boss) located in Karabar, NSW.

The regulator concluded the transaction of the entities would likely “substantially lessen competition in the supply of groceries in the local area”.

The decision was made after analysing the spending habits of local consumers, including how often and how much local consumers spent at different supermarkets in and outside the local area.

ACCC chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, said: “Local consumers would be left with just one Coles and two Aldi stores as alternatives.”

Woolworths already operates two supermarkets in the neighbouring suburbs of Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra while Supa IGA is the only independent supermarket in the local area.

“The more supermarkets or grocery stores there are, the better outcomes for local consumers, who can change where they shop based on the most competitive offerings for their particular needs,” said Gottlieb.

The proposed acquisition would also affect suppliers supplying to Supa IGA as they may not be stocked by Woolworths.

“The local Supa IGA competes with its different product mix, service offering and store amenity, and different promotional cycles.

“It also has the ability to make decisions locally, and to dynamically adapt and respond to changes in tastes and preferences of local customers,” said Gottlieb.

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