Metcash plays the long game with its retail transformation

Metcash's revamped sales and consumer-driven strategy marks a sharp departure from its cost-cutting focus, but it may be some time before it blunts the competitive edge of Woolworths and Coles.

Nearly five years ago, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into the grocery sector pointed the finger at Metcash’s dominance of independent grocery wholesaling for the inability of independent supermarkets to compete on price with Woolworths and Coles. That tension between its self-interest and that of the independent supermarkets it services probably explains why Metcash’s relatively new chief executive plans a massive transformation over the next five years.

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