Drake Supermarkets have taken on another IGA store in Gladstone. Brook Osmond is happy to be working for Drake.
Drake Supermarkets have taken on another IGA store in Gladstone. Brook Osmond is happy to be working for Drake. Brenda Strong

New supermarket player goes head to head with big two

JOHN-PAUL Drake is not shy when saying what's on his mind.

"I can guarantee that we will have more specials in a week than Coles and Woolworths will have in a month."

Mr Drake is the state manager for Drakes Supermarkets and was in Calliope on Monday as the company continued to make major moves in the region.

On Sunday night, Drakes took over the Supa IGA store in Calliope. That came after the acquisition in August of IGA stores in Toolooa and Sun Valley.

Like most business figures arriving in Gladstone, Mr Drake said the company believed the Gladstone region would be a growth area with strong prospects.

But from the tone in his voice it was obvious he also relished the company's David-versus-Goliath battle against Australia's two supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles.

There has been plenty of talk about the duopoly of those two companies.

Mr Drake "respects" those competitors, but he believes Drakes, an independent company, can play a positive role in combating that "scary" duopoly for the long-term benefit of shoppers.

"We're not afraid to go head-to-head," he said.

Mr Drake believes the newly acquired IGA stores can succeed in the Gladstone region by making sure they provide the best deal possible for the communities they work in.

They will have a 5% discount on Wednesday for pensioners and are getting involved in local charity schemes, sporting groups and non-profit organisations.

The Calliope Supa IGA store is dropping 10,000 prices after taking over on Monday and Mr Drake committed to having all stores running a minimum of 2000 promotions each week.



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