9News: Small Saviours

Peter Overton, Nine News Sydney: Forget the retail recession – for Woolworths it’s an ooshie led recovery, as the supermarket announced an annual profit of 7.2%, thanks to the tiny plastic collectible toys.

Ross Greenwood: Woolworths sales last year were almost $60 billion. They grew faster than your wages and inflation.

So whats clear is that Australia’s largest retail has grabbed a bigger share of your wallet.

Brad Banducci, CEO Woolworths: They shop in our stores more and they buy more when they shop with us.

Mark Ritson, Melbourne Business School: I think Woolies are taking from Coles, taking from IGA, and for now they are looking pretty good

Greenwood: Now, you might laugh but these Lion King giveaway ooshies for the past 8 weeks have given Woolworths an even bigger sales boost.

Its even prompted rival Coles to reinstate its Little Shop campaign.

So, from dollar milk and cheap chooks, the supermarket wars – for the time being at least – is all about these figurines.

Banducci: Then there was The Lion King, the movie was a big hit, and we were very fortunate to be a part of that

Ritson: It’s a short term fix. You’re not going to win in the supermarket wars against Aldi and Coles with a  series of nice, but ultimately limited, promotions.

Greenwood: For five years Australian families have gotten used to the fact supermarket food prices have fallen year on year.

But there is evidence, that in future, you shop will start to cost more.

Banducci: There is material cost pressures that are coming to the system , really on the back of the drought an a number of other factors like Australian electricity costs.

Greenwood: Classic example of mince meat – cost pressures are showing.

Banducci: As we’ve gone into this year, we’ve had to adjust the prices up ever so slightly to to cover this cost increases.

Greenwood: the other curiosity is alcohol. History tells us as times get tough, people drink more but not this time around.

Woolies drinks business, including Dan Murphy’s, are down.

Banducci: Alcohol consumption has been moderating in Australia for close on 30 years

Greenwood: Ross Greenwood, Nine News

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