Jul 132009
 

This is disturbing, and displays graphically the purchasing power within the fuel marketplace now held by the two grocery giants.


This is simple mathematics, but you can be guaranteed the bogan cadre will be sucked in. Ironically, those who can least afford to be duped. I currently use Shell fuels when I fill the Camry each week, between 30 and 35 litres depending on the distances covered. Usually just to & from work. We can’t afford to jaunt around on weekends. We shop at Coles, or at least I think we do. ‘We’ being my wife & her daughter, although I dare say they shop where the prices are best if such a thing can be determined. That said, I’m given a Coles shop-a-docket each Wednesday which nets me $0.04/litre discount. Based on a 30 litre fill, that’s a grand total of $1.20 saving off the pump price. $62.40 per annum which on current fuel price levels is approximately two-thirds of a tank. Whoop-de-doo!!
So, multiply that saving by a factor of 10 – to equate to the latest Coles incentive to spend bucket-loads on munchies – and you start to arrive at something reasonable in the savings department. $624.00. About 6.5 tankfuls. The trap being that to qualify you need to spend more than $300 on groceries at Coles BEFORE Wednesday 15 July 2009. The grocery purchase has to be a single, one-time buy, in other words, your weekly shop, and the discount voucher is good for four weeks after that. So let’s work that out on the basis of my own situation.
Let’s assume we spend $100/week on groceries. I genuinely have no idea what is spent, but given there’s just the two of us, that amount seems reasonable. So, to qualify for a $0.40/litre discount, an additional $201 needs to be outlaid. That permits four weeks of discounted fuel, which at the rate of $35 litres/week, amounts to a saving of $14/week….$56 for the four week period. A loss on the exercise of $145.
Now, take into account that while the supermarket operators vehemently deny that regional pricing does not occur, Blind Freddy knows full well that it does. Freight costs don’t enter into the argument, so great are the differentials on any given grocery item between different parts of the country. Take into account also that fuel discounts are not gratuitous giveaways by benificent Big Business enterprises. Anything seemingly given with one hand in fuel discounts, will be recouped by the other, dipping into the consumers wallet at the checkout.
On top of all the obfuscation created by major grocery chains which clearly have massive buying power in the fuel markets, there’s the rorts being enacted upon the consumer by the oil refiners and importers. Anyone who watches the prices of ULP out of Singapore, and price per barrel of TAPIS crude oil – both major contributing price factors in the retail pump price of Australian petrol – will know that approximately $0.05 per litre of petrol drop in the price of both commodities over the past 7 to 10 days has NOT been passed onto the consumer. It’s a little more difficult to know for sure if you’re being ripped off here in Queensland due to the $0.09 per litre jump in price at the pump as of July 1, but I’ve had my doubts, watching the price movements locally since last Wednesday. The bottom line in all dealings with grocery retailers who have holdings in fuel wholesaling being that nothing is ever as it seems, and if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it surely is.

  2 Responses to “Coles Express To The Bank”

  1. Even if the “fuel discount” were significant – maybe 50 cents per litre, ha! – simple arithmetic or, for anyone under 40 a $5 calculator, would demonstrate that the amortised cost of the in-store items would be several times any “saving”.

  2. Even if the “fuel discount” were significant – maybe 50 cents per litre, ha! – simple arithmetic or, for anyone under 40 a $5 calculator, would demonstrate that the amortised cost of the in-store items would be several times any “saving”.