The Labour party might not be in power any more, but its painful legacy is still felt, particularly when it comes to supermarket expansion or 'The Great Space Race' as the BBC dubbed it in a recent Panorama programme.

Veteran campaigners, though, will not have found the news that 577 superstores were given planning permission in the past two years quite as jaw-dropping as the BBC may have done. In fact, they probably asked "What's new?".

From the early 80s, when wholesaler top brass made their frequent visits to our sponsoring government departments, MAFF and then later Defra, those responsible never gave a balanced market a second thought. Cheap food was and remains their mantra, despite promises of support to small shops from many a public platform.

Over time ministers began to appreciate the superstore's efficiencies. The giants offered consumers better quality foodstuffs and more choice in brighter stores and at significantly decreasing prices in fact, figures from 2009 show that household spend on food fell from 18.1 % in 1979 to 9.7 % in 2009.

Many top wholesalers also admire the giants' marketing skills, as do many suppliers (although covertly).

Consumers like the prices and choice. A tiny minority hate the big names, but still shop at them.

From here on in, it is clear that our highly efficient wholesale network will meet the challenge of the additional 577 superstores, but instead of seeking government protection from the big bad wolves, it will spend its energy encouraging higher standards in local stores, giving consumers an irresistible shopping experience, served by well-trained staff, playing genuine hardball with suppliers all the basics which have put the superstores where they are today.

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