As Tesco installs new software to cope with its 892 million daily web transactions private businesses ask is it fair to allow such market domination. Meanwhile, consumers are pressing for longer Sunday trading hours. Are the interests of independent retailers are being swept aside in the rush to clone our towns?
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to place a market cap on larger supermarkets, in a bid to protect independent traders.
At the same time the National Consumer Council (NCC) is calling for further relaxation in Sunday opening hours. This is not good news for independents in general. Those that already open longer hours may lose their competitive edge and those that don’t could be forced to, even though they cannot justify the cost, in order to protect their market share.
Extending Sunday trading would be particularly bad news for Brighton & Hove as it depends heavily on the survival of its already fragile independent sector.
Tesco already has almost a third of the grocery market and is making major inroads into the household goods and fashion markets. It is taking up sites closer to town centres (for example Church Road, Hove) and competes with local traders in a whole range of sectors. The invention of Tesco Express enabled the organisation to infiltrate the convenience stores sector and enjoy the benefits afforded independents such as longer opening hours. With new branches popping up all over Brighton & Hove many now suggest that it is dominating this sector.
Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Forum of Private Business
National Consumer Council