Checkout: Revealing how and why New Zealand's supermarkets operate the way they do
Why are food prices so high in this country? Why are some Countdown supermarkets so close together? Are we likely to see any more competition among New Zealand supermarkets that may help to bring food prices down? These and many other questions are answered in Checkout, a reference work revealing how and why this country's grocery industry works in the way it does. New Zealand's grocery industry is probably one of the most unique in the world. In most countries, supermarket chains like Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco, Sainsbury's Woolworths and Metro dominate the market where the only other major competition, Countdown and its franchise banners, Fresh Choice and Supervalue, is owned by Woolworths Australia, a supermarket chain. Like in other countries, the New Zealand industry is divided between the supermarkets and the suppliers. The supermarkets employ around 40,000+ direct employees and provide work for contractors, builders and service providers, accounting for a few thousand more. When the suppleirs - including companies like graphic designers, packaging companies and label printers - are added to the mix, then the numbers working in or around the industry grow considerably. It is an industry that provides career paths both within the supermarkets and among the suppliers - brands like Wattie's, Coca-Cola, Sanitarium, Tip Top Ice Cream, Nestle, Tegel Foods and hundreds and hundreds more. Yet little is known outside the industry about how it works and why. John Winters spent more than 13 years in the trade press writing about supermarkets here, in Australia and in other parts of the world and has now written this reference work which sets out to explain the intricacies of the business. He has interviewed key figures from both sides of the industry to put this together.
This book traces the vibrant history of a now vastly complex industry made up of many layers - chain stores, franchises and co-operatives, central buying and direct buying - and John Winters is to be congratulated on the huge job he has done in documenting it all. - Katherine Rich, CEO, New Zealand Food & Grocery Council The book provides a very interesting look at the history of the Supermarket and Food industry in New Zealand and will be of particular interest to those who are, have been, or are considering being, participants in this very dynamic, exciting and stimulating industry. - Hugh Perrett, former Managing Director of Foodstuffs New Zealand and Foodstuffs Auckland
John Winters was born in England emigrating to New Zealand in May 1999 and has been a journalist for 52 years.