Supermarket price wars force Metcash to slash 478 jobs

Metcash will slash 478 jobs as part of its restructure, mostly in regional Australia.

The company, which controversially took over the Franklins Supermarket chain last year, has faced difficult trading conditions, due to the high Australian dollar and supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolworths.

Last year, in the midst of the takeover bid by Metcash, it was revealed that without a buyout Franklins would not be able to afford to keep trading past 2012.

It will close 15 Campbells Cash & Carry stores across regional Australia, resulting in 315 job cuts.

Metcash says the closures are necessary, as more customers turn to petrol and service stations instead of traditional convenience stores.

More than 160 jobs will also be cut at the corporate offices.

Chief executive Andrew Reitzer said Metcash had little choice but to slash the jobs, if it wants to remain a competitive business.

”These difficult conditions result from continued deflation which is pushing prices and margins down, and a value-conscious consumer who increasingly purchases on discount,” Reitzer said in a statement.

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