Coles has announced it will continue to sell “Australian-themed” items in January, following Woolworths’ decision to cease Australia Day merchandise due to diminishing demand and the ongoing debate about the significance of January 26.
Woolworths’ move, which includes its subsidiary Big W, reflects a drop in customer interest and the evolving discourse around Australia Day. Despite this, a Coles representative emphasised the popularity of their Australian-themed products, especially for January’s sporting events and Australia Day weekend.
Woolworths, while acknowledging the debate around Australia Day, assured it would still offer a wide range of products for the celebration. They emphasised their commitment to Australian farmers, producers, and suppliers.
The decision sparked mixed reactions on social media. Some criticised Woolworths for succumbing to “cultural Marxism,” as one user on platform X commented. Sky News Australia contributor Prue MacSween urged those who disagree to show their disapproval financially.
Others noted that many of these products are imported, predominantly from China. The controversy around Australia Day has intensified due to the failed Voice referendum and the Prime Minister’s policy allowing many councils to cancel January 26 citizenship ceremonies.
The supermarkets have also been scrutinised for their pricing strategies. Woolworths claims its produce prices are based on what they pay farmers, but farmer Ross Marsolino called this “hogwash,” pointing out inflated retail prices.
In contrast to Woolworths, Coles has received support for its stance on Australia Day merchandise, with an indigenous user on platform X expressing their appreciation for Australia Day and their preference for Coles.