Fresh take on small shops

Natalie BrownThe West Australian

When Tony Ale sold his first vegetable in Perth in 1965, times were different.

"It was all selling from the counter, now it's all self-service," he said. "It's a big change from old times."

The Ale family greengrocers shop in Yangebup has faced its fair share of challenges in the past 49 years, most recently its battle against the big supermarkets.

But the Perth Market Authority and Chamber of Fruit and Vegetables Industries WA have given grocers such as the Ales a $400,000 leg-up through its Great Greengrocers advertising campaign to steer customers back to smaller retailers.

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The Ales want to remind shoppers why they once travelled several times a week to their local grocer.

Mr Ale's son John said smaller grocers would push their shorter supply chain and fresher produce for the campaign, which starts today.

"The price is not much different, the service is still good, it's just the quality that is better," he said.

"The biggest advantage to the consumer is fresher produce."

PMA chief executive Stephen Ward said independent retailers were under increasing pressure from supermarkets and tough economic conditions.

The campaign would promote independent greengrocers as a better quality and more convenient option.

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