Rockingham butcher says variety is crucial

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Rockingham butcher Jan Hansen believes to survive as a butcher in a competitive industry, you have do things a little bit different from the rest.

Woolworths dropped its lamb prices substantially last week, saving consumers up to 30 per cent, but Mr Hansen said the price cut had not yet affected the business.

‘‘They cut the prices last week and we haven’t seen any fall in sales—we sold as much lamb last week as we normally do,’’ he said.

‘‘We have a customer base, the people we have coming here probably won’t go to the supermarket to buy their meat anyway because they just don’t get the same quality.’’

Mr Hansen said the role of the butcher shop had changed over time to remain relevant to consumers.

‘‘We now bring in more ready-to-cook meals that the supermarkets can’t do, whereas before we would sell more supermarket cuts but just served fresh, not wrapped,’’ he said.

‘‘We take another approach and do it a little bit different because we can’t compete with the supermarket prices and the buying power that they have and it has worked for us.’’

Mr Hansen said quality produce kept customers loyal.

‘‘We buy top shelf so therefore we can only sell top shelf, ’’ he said.

Port Kennedy mother Coleen Fitzpatrick said she visited butchers for their variety.

‘‘We find the meat to be a lot fresher. My boys favourites are the lamb cutlets,’’ she said.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said prices were reduced to give families an affordable option for their favourite meat.

‘‘We found that when lamb was on sale we sold three to four times more,’’ she said.

‘‘Consumers made it clear that lamb was one of their favourite meats, but they were concerned it was too expensive.’’

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