Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Competition Commissioners and supermarket chains

The Competition Commission are carrying out a report in to UK Supermarkets. The initial report is about to be published, a full report is due out next year. The BBC have the full story here.

Publicity is concentrating on the supermarkets holding on to 'land banks'; land they have bought for possible development but that they have not begun building on as yet.

For me a much more important issue is the effect that supermarkets are having on local retail markets. The Commission is looking in to how large supermarkets can effect the economy of their surrounding area, with particular reference to grocery shopping and local shops and shopping centres.

I welcome their investigation, I've blogged before about my concern over the power of out of town stores to neutralise smaller businesses in their surrounding area and local town centres, thereby forming a monopoly.

Support for small town, suburban and village businesses is going to be vital if we are to truly retain and create sustainable and vibrant local communities.

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