Grocery Revolt

Reporter: Damien Hansen

It soon will be the ultimate online catalogue -- the nation's grocery prices at your fingertips. You'll know what you'll pay and who's trying to gouge you before you even walk out the door.

"My dream for this is to turn it into something that is comprehensive but works for everybody -- not just the big retailers, the small retailers as well", said Shane Pearce, a big picture man.

Shane's dream is to do what a government wouldn't -- help you save on your weekly shop. "By helping us build our site, you can save us $2000 a year on groceries", Shane said.

It's called less 2 pay, a one stop shopping resource. The plan is to log on to find the cheapest groceries in your suburb.

It is no secret we're paying 40% more for groceries today than we did 10 years ago. Among the main culprits is the supermarket duopoly. Less 2 pay promotes transparency and competition -- specials, online, everyday. "60% of people in America now preview their shopping online before they buy in store and that's a trend that is happening here", Shane said.

"I can stand here and jump up and down about certain things and it's just not going to be heard or listened to. But if we can get everyone on board, people can obviously type in their post code, they can go and see where their local green grocer is", said former rugby league player turned grocer Nathan Sologikin.

Nathan says slogging it out with Coles and Woolworths on an uneven playing field is becoming increasingly difficult. "You know it is hard and you never know when an Aldi is most likely to pop up half a kilometre away -- that's what they seem to be doing", he said.

Nathan's Brisbane stores rely on service to retain customers because he can't do it on price alone. "People say well it won't hurt you but someone takes five per cent off you here, another takes five per cent off you there, another two stores open there's another 10% -- there's 20%off your small business", Nathan said.

He's among a growing list of independent retailers signing up for the website.

Coles and Woolworths have so far refused to submit their prices but Shane hopes soon they'll have little choice. "What you need to do is put pressure on them and put pressure on them from the marketplace", he said.

"Most consumer issues are driven from the ground up and they're driven generally by a group of individuals that stand up and say I've had enough", said Cherie Daley is from the Queensland Consumer Association.

"It's very difficult for those independents and if they get on with something like this and people start to pay attention, they'll find that market share will increase", Cherie added.

She believes the biggest challenge will be keeping the website up to date. "I think as a concept it works -- the flaw is in the timing because that depends on when the prices are actually put up on the site and that they're up to date, absolutely up to date. Sometimes it's even to the minute", Cherie said.

To work the website needs listings from every independent retailer in the country. "This gives people the choice, the chance to fight back and freedom", Shane said.

For further information visit the website at: www.less2pay.com.au/