UK supermarkets to kill off independents within 10 years

By Leah Vyse

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Asda Broadsheet

Independent retailers and wholesalers could vanish from the UK
within a decade because of the growing domination of leading
supermarkets, MPs warn.

The forthcoming High Street Britain 2015 report by the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, a group of around 150 MPs, will reveal the manipulative nature of the UK's four leading supermarkets in terms of pricing, planning and supply related issues.

The group is investigating the ability of the independent corner shop, which are closing at a rate of 2000 a year, to compete against the supermarket superpower led by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrison.

The report observes that the size and strength of the big four supermarkets will inevitably result in the collapse of the supply chain because independent wholesalers, who supply the small stores, will be squeezed out of the market. This could result in the closure of thousands of small stores.

The group of MPs heard that Tesco, the UK's leading retailer, was able to get products for 10 to 20 per cent less than independent chains even when ordering similar amounts.

The Independent​ newspaper reported that James Lowman, a spokesman for the Association of Convenience Stores, said this should not be the case and suppliers should be forced to make products available at the same price when purchasing the same volumes.

He said: "We'd like to see the Government take more responsibility for what happens in this industry."

The sheer scale of the presence of the large retailers was recently confirmed through revelations that in the UK one pound in every seven is spent in Tesco.

And as part of a separate investigation the UK's Office of Fair Trading is examining whether to refer the supermarket sector to the Competition Commission for a full-scale investigation.

The final report is due to be published at the end of the month or in early February.

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