The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) will seek clarification from the Competition Commission over its suggestion that the Supermarket Code of Practice (SCOP) could be extended beyond the big four to encompass other retailers, including symbol groups.
"Clearly, a review of the code could benefit independents, and removing the worst excesses of supermarket practice will be fairer for all," said the ACS' Shane Brennan. "However, we are sceptical of the possibility of extending it beyond the large supermarkets - including symbol groups would only make the situation worse for them."
The ACS will suggest to the CC that an ombudsman with genuine power will be the best way to enforce the code.
Brennan added: "We're mystified by the Commission's thinking, but we are encouraged that it is welcoming comment on the proposed remedies.
"We will make the case for strengthening the code, but it must be strengthened in the right places."