Countdown’s “Cosa Nostra” won’t be happy with this

Last Friday I blogged about supermarket giant Countdown behaving like the Godfather with NZ suppliers. The post sparked a flood of comments.

Their PR spin-merchant Kate Porter even called up asking me for the source of the story, saying this was all news to her.

Meanwhile the tip-line ran hot with numerous stories about how Countdown was being instructed by their Australian masters to tuck millions out of Kiwi companies in an alleged effort to try and compete with PakNSave. Extortion was the word frequently mentioned in the tipline.

Then someone emailed me though a piece from Friday’s NBR. Here’s the headline:


Aside from the fact that soon-to-be-departed Kaikoura MP Colin King suddenly has his name appear in the media after years of obscurity (must be looking for a job), he does make a valid point.

NZ’s produce is being shut out of Australian supermarkets, and with Australian supermarket giant Woolworths owing Countdown, it looks like they’re trying it on here in NZ as well.

As a result, NZ suppliers’ anti-Australian sentiment is at an all time high, as they see supermarket doors being slammed in their faces across the ditch. Again, sounds like extortion.

Suppliers then get a call out of the blue asking them to come in for a “chat” with Australian owned Countdown and told to pay up for the “privileged” of having their products stocked in Countdown.

It’s not looking good for Countdown. Not good at all.

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