the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 12 February 2006

Will MPs really take on the supermarkets?

A hard-hitting report on the power of the supermarkets will be published this week and thousands of small independent shops are hoping that the government will go head-to-head with the giants of the high street. What are the chances?

The 80 page report by the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group is widely expected to call for a full-blown investigation into the supermarket sector and its offshoot the supermarket-owned neighbourhood convenience store.

It will paint a grim picture of the independent sector, which is declining at a record rate. It will almost certainly call for the imposition of a supermarket regulator to curb the powers of the big four chains that control 75% of the £80bn market in grocery shopping.

Supermarkets are already gearing up to dismiss the report claiming that its authors (and other critics) do not understand that their businesses are just responding to consumer demand. They also point out that the death of small shops has been overplayed and that medium sized chains have taken their place.


It is certainly the case that supermarkets have never been more popular with consumers and the vast majority do not give too much thought to the effect that their dominance is having on the high street.

However, it is also the case that the playing field has a very steep pitch and the independents are definitely playing at the wrong end. There are many facets of the system that are stacked against independents.

Supermarkets ride roughshod over planning systems because they have the money to take almost any decision to appeal while cash strapped local authorities have limited resources; massive buying power and influence over suppliers that some suggest is tantamount to blackmail: the system that determines rents and rates (where the most valuable floorspace is the first 6 metres back from the shop window) weighs heavily in favour of the massive floorplate supermarkets where the back of the store has negligible value; free parking; lack of appropriate business support for independents; technological advances etc etc.

Anything that the government does to level the playing field is a step in the right direction but fighting the corner for independents may not be enough of a vote winner to spur the government into serious action.

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS
7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs