The UK’s big four supermarkets could be forced to sell land that they own in areas where there are not enough different chains of retailers, the Competition Commission said this week.
Other recommendations floated in the commission’s Provisional Findings report included the banning of restrictive covenants, or exclusivity arrangements, that reduce the likelihood of land being used by a competitor.
The commission is also considering introducing a competition test into the planning process that would allow the position of existing retailers to be taken into account.
It is also set to consider changes to the Supermarkets Code of Practice, which regulates retailer-supplier relationships, and is considering changing the threshold according to which grocery retailers are included within the SCOP. Another suggestion included changing the code so that symbol group retailers were also included within it.
Retailers will have the opportunity to respond to the commission’s findings before the final recommendations are published in March 2008.

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