Fred Harrison
Ritchies Supermarkets

"The best link a business can have is with its community - the more a company supports its community, the better the business will prosper through increased support from customers."

Fred Harrison has been the Chief Executive of Ritchies Supermarkets since 1994. He commenced working for the company as a trolley boy after school 30 years ago, and has been employed continuously by Ritchies since then.

Ritchies Supermarkets is the largest independent licensed supermarket group in Australia. It remains a family-owned business which commenced trading in 1870 in Frankston. Ritchies employs over 3500 people in more than 30 stores throughout Victoria.

Ritchies is best known for its Community Benefit Card Program where the company donates 1 per cent of each dollar spent by card-holding customers to a school, club or charity of their choice.

The Community Benefit Card Program was introduced in 1995, the year after Fred became CEO of the company, and a decade later more than $200,000 a month is being distributed by Ritchies to community groups nominated by its customers.

Since the program's inception, more than $12,000,000 has been contributed by the company to the community. The Community Benefit Card Program is the centrepiece of Ritchies' marketing strategy.

Fred maintains that Ritchies cannot compete with the big supermarkets in marketing, advertising, store size and presentation, so the company created a point of difference - support for the community through the Community Benefit Card Program.

Ritchies' continued success in a very competitive industry is a prime example.