News24

'Boycott major retailers'

2009-01-06 14:48

Dear Editor,

Over the last few months South Africans have been fortunate enough to benefit from the massive reduction in the global price of oil. Since the record peaks of petrol and diesel, there has been a huge reduction in the price of petrol.

Good news indeed. However as much of a relief as it may be, one wonders why the current situation has not filtered through to retailers.

In a recent Fin24 article by Theunis Strydom, Pick 'n Pay's financial director Dennis Cope states that food prices are determined by their suppliers and that due to other factors such as commodities, packaging and labour, food prices may not necessarily come down.

That may be true, but as I can imagine most South Africans will be asking, how come food prices increase dramatically when fuel costs increase? When Pick 'n Pay increases their prices on foods they blame it on the rising fuel costs, there is no mention of suppliers and their costs of packaging and labour?

If the cost of regularly transporting products such as milk, bread, meat, fruit and vegetables have come down, then surly someone out there is exploiting the consumer? Why don't major retailers put pressure on suppliers to lower their prices?

Why don't consumers boycott the major retailers in order for them to put pressure on their so called suppliers to lower their costs?

I'm sure that there is a better solution to providing consumers with information regarding the price of foods? Perhaps Mr Cope from Pick 'n Pay can explain why they charge suppliers for stocking products on their shelves as well as taking profit on goods sold.

Perhaps we as consumers should support our local butchery and the corner fruit and vegetable shop a lot more.

Dan Collins

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Comments
  • tHe Joker - 2009-01-06 16:07

    But there aren't any minor retailers left. Where will I get my grub?

  • Johann - 2009-01-06 16:08

    Last year a bread manufacturer was fined R99m for price fixing! A while ago the Comp Comission found that bank charge extremely high fees! Yesterday a major food company was fined R45m for price fixing! Result: Bread prices go up again, no action gets taken regarding the high bank charges. What's happening here is the obvious are being stated and who is paying? The consumer. Court cases against the bread companies, cost for the CC to do their research.Either way, the tax payer keeps on paying!

  • Bull - 2009-01-06 16:08

    The so called housewives market should be renamed THE RIPP-OFF MARKET. They brag about their higher and higher profits even in hard times. How is that possible? Its not

  • Alan - 2009-01-06 16:10

    What local butcher and grocer? I cannot find one - I actually tried a few weeks ago. And as for BP shops etc. - have you seen their prices? Right now for me the Pick n' Pay's and Spars of this world are the ONLY options - unless I can afford Woolworths and if I could do that I wouldn't be complaining about prices.

  • DJ - 2009-01-06 16:14

    Since PnP and other large retailers listed, the writing was on the wall. For the Retailer, it is ALL ABOUT KEEPING THE SHAREHOLDERS HAPPY. The old days where Raymond Ackerman used to say 'we care about you', no longer applies. I see a gap in the market for a consortium of farmers and retailers to set up a national distribution network that would cut retail prices in half! Anyone interested in joining me?

  • Pangea - 2009-01-06 16:14

    This is even more reason to support farmers markets and your local small business. I know that some big retailers are trying to force farmers to sign agreements that prohibits them from selling direct to the public and this I believe is not correct.

  • Pop Idol - 2009-01-06 16:16

    The topic at hand is,as to why food retailers dont lower their prices...My initial comment was justified as these higher retail prices do NOT get passed on in the form of higher wages to their staff.Why is this then? If all of us are still paying the same prices even though the oil price came down,then where is this excess profit going too? Perhaps to the shareholders who mostly are white or into the pockets of upper management ? All that I know is that more justified strikes lay ahead.

  • boertjie - 2009-01-06 16:17

    What about the banks, suddenly standard bank will charge you 1,03% of all cash deposits you put into your homeloan as a service fee. What service fee? It is just another way of the banks to make up for the losses they going to incur after the competition board exposed their blatant explotation of people. But we are to slapgat to stand together to boikot these scum. Someone with a bit of computer knowledge should start a web page to expose these assholes, and then the public can boikot them.

  • Mrs M. - 2009-01-06 16:18

    Well simple, they now need to make up for the losses they had the past year or so, and as usual the consumer has to pay for them. They won't put their prises down cause they know food is essential and we as consumers are hard up and will pay the price, while's the CEO sleeps peachfully in his expensive bed in his expinsive house and just goes back to work the next day in his expensive car, you think they will cut their own cost so consumers can save? NEVER.

  • Kaballas - 2009-01-06 16:19

    The worst are the quickshops in garages. The other day I paid R9,50 for a can of Grapetizer. Thats crazy? . There is a market near where I live which fortunately has fresh veggies, meat and everything else one needs every Saterday. I swear if I told you I save 60% on my shopping of fresh produce here then it is too little.

  • Bull - 2009-01-06 16:19

    Stay away from big stores for a few weeks and you will soon see prices tumble.

  • Papagetso - 2009-01-06 16:21

    Man, i tell you it's car prices, food, cell phone charges and damn bank charges! this people are milking us day-in day-out! we must go toyi-toyi at PnP headquters...i will bank work for this one. R. Ackerman must know that he's starving the nation. We cant wait for a comission of enqueiries on this matter!!

  • Callie - 2009-01-06 16:22

    You could not wait to play the race card???? You are the biggest racist on news24! Why can't you just keep to the subject at hand?? Not bright enough to talk about economics??? Go and watch tv my child, leave the big people alone to talk!

  • brent123 - 2009-01-06 16:22

    I also believe hat PnP is ripping us all off. I recently baught a trolly full of groceries at Woolworths and it worked out cheaper than my usual PnP trolley... and I thought that Woolies was the expensive one.

  • John Camp - 2009-01-06 16:25

    And we all know what happens to whistleblowers in South Africa. :)

  • MT - 2009-01-06 16:27

    One major mistake is sighting one reason (in this case oil therefore petrol) for price increases in food.This leaves the consumer with the rightfull illusion that should those prices decrease,so will food prices.Retailers must learn to be open and honest with the consumers that have made their bank accounts so heavy.Theyll always give us the notion that its not their fault prices increase,and therefore we cant expect them to bring them down when mkt conditions change.Capitalism,ladies and gents!

  • MP3 - 2009-01-06 16:29

    lol @ Pop Idol, come now... That was a little bit silly wasn't it? As far as the letter is concerned, totally agree. Infact I will certainly make more of a concerted effort to avoid them.

  • shaun - 2009-01-06 16:30

    Your article is most valid however this stands for all food sellers including those "famous" fast food companies. Supporting your local butcher / baker etc will definitely leave more pennies in your pocket and quality should also be much more better ! Would love to hear Pnp and the likes comments !

  • shaun - 2009-01-06 16:32

    Your article is most valid however this stands for all food sellers including those "famous" fast food companies. Supporting your local butcher / baker etc will definitely leave more pennies in your pocket and quality should also be much more better ! Would love to hear Pnp and the likes comments !

  • Derek - 2009-01-06 16:34

    Here is a website where you can prepare prices. http://www.hotprice.co.za/ It is still in early stages (and is actually closed for development at the moment) and more comparisons are being added all the time. If enough of us used this site, that would put real pressure on retailers.

  • keng - 2009-01-06 16:38

    Most of you won't be boycotting anyone. There is a thing called choice. Example local butcher sell meat @ R40 same is sold at P&P for R70. 2 litre coke sells for R14.95 @ Spar but only costs R9.95 @ hyper

  • Whyte Mann - 2009-01-06 16:39

    I agree Dan. Let us all, in our own communities, organise a picket or some show of demonstration at each local PnP - they are the major culprits. And while we're about it, let's also boycott our banks that have been charging exhorbitant costs -you don't have to open a bank account, it's all just another scheme by the banks. Demand that your employer pay you in cash on the premises, and take your money home - not to the bank where they charge you so to use your money to make money for them!

  • Simon - 2009-01-06 16:42

    A consumer watchdog group, with a website/toll free number available for the public to comment on food pricing, giving specifics about where/when and how much would apply pressure to the retailers. Add to this, legislation to monitor and control certain basic food items, vital to daily nutrition. Someone has to take the lead in this, perhaps COPE could get some political mileage from the concept?

  • Charles - 2009-01-06 16:45

    I often wonder how much GP (Gross Profit) or markup all you people who complain your butts off make in your businesses. I am a Food retailer, and we seldom make more than 12-15% on what we sell. maybe you should start complaining about Doctors who charge over R200 for 15 minutes, or estate agents who do bugger all and still take Thousands in commission, or even lawyers or accountants, or maybe even SARS. Next time you criticize someone, please also revert to how you rip people off yourself!!!

  • Old, female, pale face - 2009-01-06 16:45

    Diminishing Return means the "item" is not worth buying at the increased price. Hassled housewives do not have time to shop around. The one-stop-shop is the bait capitalism exploits it. Monopolies flourish. Greed turns on itself as in USA. Consumers lessen, production stays on the shelf. We had "boycotts" decades ago which worked. The nation were united in their purpose. Not today !

  • Old, female, pale face - 2009-01-06 16:46

    Diminishing Return means the "item" is not worth buying at the increased price. Hassled housewives do not have time to shop around. The one-stop-shop is the bait capitalism exploits it. Monopolies flourish. Greed turns on itself as in USA. Consumers lessen, production stays on the shelf. We had "boycotts" decades ago which worked. The nation were united in their purpose. Not today !

  • Old, female, pale face - 2009-01-06 16:46

    Diminishing Return means the "item" is not worth buying at the increased price. Hassled housewives do not have time to shop around. The one-stop-shop is the bait capitalism exploits it. Monopolies flourish. Greed turns on itself as in USA. Consumers lessen, production stays on the shelf. We had "boycotts" decades ago which worked. The nation were united in their purpose. Not today !

  • Jonas - 2009-01-06 16:57

    Banks, retailers, government, they are all ripping us off. The price of producing 1L of premium petrol is somewhere between 20 and 30c. Given the price that we pay at the pump, someone is making money. One day, when we stop fighting and insulting each other, perhaps we will stand together and force these guys to stop screwing us.

  • Proudly Souf Efrikan - 2009-01-06 16:58

    Aish! Dats where I come from. I say strike from tomorrow!! First wait till the petrol comes down tonight, more money in our pockets, more to spend at the corner shops and flea markets. Well done Dan, u have my vote for president of SA!! :)

  • ng - 2009-01-06 17:05

    While suppliers are being labelled as crooks just bear in mind that most prices are about 22- 30% higher than they could be because the retailer demands a National Advert rebate, a drop shipment rebate, a settlement discount and a national rebate and all these costs are borne by the supplier. Also the stock is often damaged in store and returned to the supplier. All suppliers are required to pay for listing their products with the retailers. Still wondering why we pay through our ears?

  • chris rose - 2009-01-06 17:09

    If a company wishes to be a supplier to PnPay it will have to follow certain "rules".1/ A listing fee to be paid upfront- this can be tens of thousands of rands- just for the privilage of doing business 2/confidential rebates have to be given eg 20% of amount invoiced is deducted by PnPay when the account is settled 3/it can often take 90 days before PnPay settle that account. All of these "costs" must be carried by the supplier as well as variable costs and cost of goods,distribution costs etc.

  • Derek - 2009-01-06 17:10

    Anyone who has a problem with this Pick 'n Pay attitude can register their protest at www.hellopeter.co.za

  • YVos - 2009-01-06 17:13

    Price fixing is alive and well in South Africa. This has been established. But, as we are such a divided nation and have never been able to really stand together and support each other, it is easy for the retailers to exploit us all. Remember the saying: United we stand, devided we fall. Can we try and stand together on this issue?

  • jackino - 2009-01-06 17:24

    boycott taxis and pick n pay!!! finish and klaar

  • Henry UK - 2009-01-06 17:33

    I suppose the rising fuel costs is also directly related to "apartheid"??? I am amazed how someone with your "intelligence" are able to remember to breathe. Related to the article, I agree more pressure needs to be applied to the big suppliers, even if prices does not come down, rather build up a buffer and be able to keep it prices stable for longer - in a perfect world that might be possible...

  • Mark R. - 2009-01-06 17:39

    It's no so simple as boycotting the large retailers. Firstly, which corner shop has cleaning aids, toiletries, hardware, bread, milk, wine, veggies, crockery, appliances, clothes etc. all under one roof? Saves you petrol AND time! Secondly, some prices HAVE actually come down. Just this week, PnP Hypermarket (Faerie Glen) for the first time in months, had cheese (and it's good!!) at R45 a kg. Thirdly, the quality of goods, especially fresh foods, is not always up to scratch in small corner shops.

  • Mark R. - 2009-01-06 17:40

    It's no so simple as boycotting the large retailers. Firstly, which corner shop has cleaning aids, toiletries, hardware, bread, milk, wine, veggies, crockery, appliances, clothes etc. all under one roof? Saves you petrol AND time! Secondly, some prices HAVE actually come down. Just this week, PnP Hypermarket (Faerie Glen) for the first time in months, had cheese (and it's good!!) at R45 a kg. Thirdly, the quality of goods, especially fresh foods, is not always up to scratch in small corner shops.