Woolworth’s proposed acquisition of a supermarket site at Glenmore Ridge in the suburb of Glenmore Park, New South Wales has been rejected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC concluded the proposed acquisition of the site, which is currently owned by Stockland, would likely result in a substantial lessening of local supermarket competition.

“Woolworths already operates the only supermarket in the suburb of Glenmore Park, and it has the next closest supermarket located in the nearby suburb of South Penrith. The Glenmore Ridge site represents the only opportunity for a competing supermarket to enter Glenmore Park in the foreseeable future, other than an ALDI that is due to open in 2014,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“In effect, the choice is between Glenmore Park residents having two Woolworths and one ALDI supermarket, or having three different supermarkets in their area.”

“An alternative supermarket at the Glenmore Ridge site would stimulate local competition and provide greater choice to residents of the area. Woolworths buying the site would prevent that from occurring.”

“The ACCC believes that loss of choice would be significantly detrimental to local consumer.”

The suburb of Glenmore Park is bound by the busy M4 Motorway and non-residential areas, which emphasises the importance of access to supermarket shopping in the Glenmore Park area.

The site is a 2.1 hectare block of undeveloped land located in the recently released Glenmore Ridge residential estate, located in the suburb of Glenmore Park in western Sydney. The present zoning of the site is for the construction of a supermarket, as well as complementary specialty shops such as bottle shops, banks and post offices.

A public review of this matter began on 20 June 2012 and the ACCC had, in effect, completed its review by October 2012. The ACCC has since then suspended the timeline at the request of Woolworths to allow Woolworths to provide additional information for the ACCC’s consideration on a number of occasions, as is appropriate to ensure good regulatory process.