BHF Group has slated the Competition Commission’s interim report on the big four supermarkets for ignoring their inroads into non-food and for encouraging their dominance to grow still further.
Both BHF Group and the British Shops & Stores Association, which between them represent nearly 8,000 retailers, are making submissions to the commission in the final consultation before the report is published.
BHF Group says that in concentrating on the food supply issue the report disregards the fact that the supermarkets, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, are increasingly important in non-food areas.
The group is also arguing that the commission’s conclusion that what is needed to counter the dominance of supermarket giants is more supermarkets will merely strengthen that dominance.
There is not even the prospect that a fifth big retailer would be able to fight its way into the market to increase competition, it says, as the sheer size of the likes of Tesco and Asda already provides an insurmountable barrier to market entry.
BHF Group managing director Alan Hawkins described the commission’s findings as “perverse”.
“The Competition Commission should have interpreted their remit more widely,” he said, “looking at the broader retailing landscape and not giving the green light to these four supermarkets continuing and strengthening their domination, which will be to the long-term disadvantage of UK consumers.”