Now that the election is truly over, retailers continue their rally for the new federal government to move quickly to shut down the major chains’ “excessive” fuel shopper docket discounts.

The Independent Retailers of Australia has again published press advertisements in the national newspapers today (September 19, 2013), taking their message to the wider population in an attempt to bring fair competition back to the general retail and fuel sectors.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, said: “If the chains want to give a discount, they should simply reduce the price of the product in the supermarket instead of using excessive shopper docket discounts to kill off independents competing with them.

“The cross market subsidisation is exclusive to the major chains, which are misusing their market power. This needs to be addressed urgently through competition policy.

“We urge the new Prime Minister to move quickly to halt deep fuel discounting, as any discount of fuel above the traditional level of 4 cents per litre must mean fuel is being sold below cost.”

This comes after Woolworths and Coles, which pulled back their discounts during the election campaign, started offering up to 40 cents off per litre when customers spent $110 on groceries.

“We are standing up for independent retailers and businesses across Australia to protect them against cross-subsidised fuel dockets before it is too late,” Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said.

The Independent Retailers of Australia is made up of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA); Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA); Australian Newsagents’ Federation Ltd (ANF); and Master Grocers of Australia (MGA).