Woolworths’s NZ ops under spotlight

Woolworths’s stronghold in the NZ supermarket industry is under the spotlight after the nation’s competition regulator warned it was part of a duopoly.

NZ’s Commerce Commission, who is investigating the grocery industry, says competition wasn’t working for consumers and that supermarkets could be forced to sell some of their stores and divest businesses.

The NZ competition regulator says Woolworths was part of a duopoly in the country.

The commission has issued a draft report into competition in the retail grocery sector and 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,” says commission chair Anna Rawlings.

In November 2020, the government asked the commission to look at whether competition in the $NZ22bn 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.

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