Reacting to the Competition Commission’s provisional Groceries Inquiry findings Matthew Knowles, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This is the third inquiry in seven years but sadly it is not third time lucky. The initial findings miss the point entirely.
"Competition between the Big Four supermarkets is not the same as free and fair competition across the whole grocery sector. The initial findings focus on declining grocery prices while ignoring the huge reduction in consumer choice that results from the number of small shops falling dramatically. The devastating impact of the current unfair grocery market can be seen on high streets across the country.

“Competition is about consumer choice as well as price and it does not matter how cheap mainstream items are at a supermarket if the only outlets for other goods have closed down. Small retailers and suppliers are being squeezed out because of practices such as selling items below the cost of production, bullying suppliers and increased parking charges in the high street compared to free parking at supermarkets. Once again the shopping public as well as small retailers and suppliers have been let down by the Competition Commission, who seem unable to see past the huge lobbying resources of the Big Four supermarkets.”