“Down, Down, prices are down.” Don’t let Dick Smith hear you singing the catchy slogan – he detests it and everything the company behind it,Coles, stands for.
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In a surprise attack on retail giant Coles, Dick Smith founder has attacked boss Ian McLeod for “extreme capitalism” and criticising $15.6 million wage packet.
Coles, owned by Westfarmers group, recently announced 22% hike if profits to a whopping $1,922m, compared to 2010.
“Where does this extra money come from?” 67 year old Smith asked an interviewer today.
An while McLeod basks in million dollar remuneration, famers and food companies are left to slug it out on the “scrap heap” , under pressure from the retail giant, with prices forced to go “down, down,” the enterpreneur believes.
And so food suppliers are forced to shut or move overseas – such as Heinz who recently moved to New Zealand.
“Aussie farmers are now ploughing in their crops and Aussie processors are sacking workers and closing down because they cannot sell at a price that will even cover their costs because of the huge push by Coles to buy at lower and lower prices,” he said in a statement.
“Why keep pushing ‘Down, down, prices are down’ and putting more and more Aussie farmers and workers on the scrap heap?” Smith said.
Selecting supermarket stalwart Coles for particular criticism, Smith called on McLeod to give some of his fortune away to suffering groups like farmers and countrywomen associations, like he does himself.
He also freely admitted he was attacking the same regime under which he did “very well” out of, while also suggesting the Coles boss “might agree with me.”
“This salary and most of Coles’ increase in profit clearly comes directly from Aussie farmers and Aussie processors, as they are destroyed by this new form of extreme capitalism.”
Some readers on SMH, where the story first appeared, agreed Smith’s message was a “good one” while others branded him a “a bloody hypocrite; would that be the same brand of Extreme Capitalism that purchased Dick Smith stores from yourself for a tidy sum?”
The outspoken Smith, who has gone on rants criticising everything from immigration to the environment appears to be leaving no stone unturned in his zealous quest for utopia Down Under.
“Ian McLeod, you’ve done incredibly well out of Australia … I look forward to hearing that you are fulfilling your obligation as a wealthy person and have become well known publicly as a major philanthropist.”