THE NEWS WRAP: Senate urged to investigate supermarkets for supplier squeeze

There are calls for a Senate inquiry into Australia’s food sector to examine claims that the country’s major supermarkets are attempting to further squeeze their suppliers.

 

According to reports, Woolworths has demanded suppliers cut their prices by 5 to 10% or risk having their products pulled from the shelves.

 

Independent senator Nick Xenophon is calling for an existing inquiry into the food industry to look at the claims.

 

Small retailers prepare for global onslaught

 

Major global fashion retailers are set to launch an assault on the Australian market, raising fears that rents for smaller operators will be driven up.

 

Zara and Topshop have unveiled plans for huge new stores in Sydney, while H&M, Uniqlo, Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21 are also reportedly searching for retail space in Australia.

 

A Morgan Stanley report predicts that these major brands will open a total of 182 stores in Australia over the next three years.

 

Employers warned of sporting sickies

 

Employers have been warned to expect a wave of sick days as sports fans take time off to enjoy coverage of the Tour de France and the Olympics.

 

Direct Health Solutions said that businesses could suffer up to 25 more sick days than usual, pointing out that absences during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa went up by a quarter.

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 124.20 points, or 0.96%, to 12,772.47 on Friday. The Australian dollar edged down to US101.98 cents.

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