Tuesday 9 October 2012

ACCC Investigation Could Help Traders.

The ACCC has been very active in retail price maintenance issues recently and at least one area of their investigations could make it easier for QVM Traders to obtain product ranges that were previously out of bounds.

Over recent years traders have complained about the refusal of some key suppliers to sell stock to market traders. Apparently the suppliers have been concerned about backlash from their other retailers if market traders undercut the retail price. This problem has been mentioned as one of the reasons for our clothing traders selling essentially similar ranges. Traders claim they would be happy to sell more mainstream brands, if suppliers would supply.

The problem has been the subject of discussion at QVM management level and a solution has not been identified, but maybe the ACCC is going to assist us. Recent investigations and court action by the ACCC have focused on price maintenance and the refusal of some suppliers to provide goods to cut price online operators. To quote an ACCC representative - “We do have investigations underway. We’re looking at online businesses that are being held back through a variety of means, not just price maintenance but also refusal to supply."

We believe this action by the ACCC could have implications for QVM traders. If you have contemplated approaching a supplier but have been concerned about being refused as a  "cut price" retailer, now might be the time to approach them again. The Government is obviously keen to stamp out any practice that limits a retailer’s right to buy and sell in a free market. If you do experience such a refusal, it looks like the ACCC would like to know about it.