FSB urges action on supermarkets

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FSB urges action on supermarkets
The FSB has urged the Competition Commission to take action against supermarkets selling alcohol below cost

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the Competition Commission to take action against supermarkets using alcohol as a loss-leader.

The FSB wants the CC to resist pressure from the large supermarket chains to take no action as part of its inquiry into the grocery market.

The organisation says tactics such as selling an item priced below the cost of production, bullying of small suppliers and paying them late, spiralling high street parking charges and property speculation through land banks must all be reversed to level the grocery market playing field.

An all-party group of MPs recently estimated that by 2015 there will be no independent retailers on the high street because of the unfair competition that they face from the supermarkets.

The initial findings of the Competition Commission's inquiry are expected to be published in the coming week.

John Wright, FSB National Chairman, said: "This is our last chance to preserve a truly competitive grocery market and defend the nation's much-loved high streets.

"We hope that the Competition Commission will stand up for the interests of consumers over those of big business.

"Small businesses are not asking for special treatment, just fair treatment, something that they have been denied for a long time in the grocery market.

"Fierce competition between the Big Four supermarkets is not full and fair competition across the board and the loss of more independent traders would further reduce consumer choice.

"This is the third inquiry into supermarkets in seven years.

"Small and independent retailers are hoping that it will be third time lucky when the interim report is published shortly."

Related topics: Legislation

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