NSW newsagent says he has ‘sold out’ of Australia Day merchandise, slams Woolworths and ‘corporates’ for scrapping products


A Port Macquarie newsagent says he has sold out of Australia Day merchandise “three times over” ahead of the controversial national holiday.

Blairs Newsagency owner Peter Thompsett joined Nat Barr and Matt Shirvington at Brekky Central on Friday, and told them business had been booming ahead of Australia Day on January 26.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Blairs Newsagency owner Peter Thompsett reveals he is doing a roaring trade with Australia Day products.

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Peter said he had “sold out,” of Australia Day products, with no slowdown in sales, despite Woolworths claiming “gradual decline in demand” for the reason behind the decision to scrap the merchandise.

“We’ve restocked probably three times over and we’ve sold everything — we’ve had to put our Port Macquarie souvenirs out to fill the spot,” Peter said.

“I think when people think they might lose Australia Day, they really ramp it up.”

Blairs Newsagency owner Peter Thompsett appeared on Sunrise on Friday, after selling out of Australia Day products ‘three times over’ ahead of the national holiday. Credit: Seven

Peter blamed “minority corporates”, for their decision to scrap the products, especially after Woolworths and Aldi decided to dump Australia Day products this year.

“It’s the minority corporate level who are doing this — don’t blame the people on the floor at Woolies (Woolworths).

“I’d love to show you our stock but we have nothing (left),” he added.

Peter said he was pleased the Port Macquarie community was celebrating.

“We’re happy that everyone is getting a flag and getting into and celebrating what makes this nation great.

“We’re a great melting pot — from Indigenous (cultures) to all of our cultures — it’s a fantastic country.”

The small business owner said Australia Day was a day for everyone to celebrate: “I think myself, it’s a mixture of our cultures coming together and I think we need to move forward now and celebrate (a national day) together.”

On Wednesday, Woolworths boss Brad Banducci was grilled by Nat Barr on Sunrise over the decision to scrap Australia Day products.

Banducci denied the dumping was “political” when questioned by Nat

“I don’t think that is true Natalie (that it was political). We are focusing on what we do best, which is food and everyday needs,” he said.

In the hard-hitting interview, Nat questioned how the supermarket giant knew of the declining sales, with Banducci responding that Australia Day merchandise had slowed over a few years.

“It’s been reducing for a number of years, Natalie. So it has been going on over time — that space in our stores (for variety products) has been shrinking anyway,” he said.

“So, we’ve got out of a whole series of categories in general merchandise and expanding our food and groceries, basically from the feedback from our customers.”

Woolworths confirmed this month that it would no longer sell any Australia Day merchandise in stores earlier this month, in a now much-maligned decision.

In a statement to 7NEWS.com.au, a spokesperson said Woolworths and BIG W would not be stocking items specific to Australia Day in 2024.

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