Independent retailers and wholesalers have dismissed many of the arguments put forward by the major supermarkets in their submissions to the Competition Commission.

Association of Convenience Stores government relations manager Shane Brennan said that there were no surprises in anything that the big four supermarket groups had said. However, he added that the arguments would prove useful in directing its own arguments as the inquiry into the UK grocery market continues.

"It's good to see what both sides are saying and we will look to counter these arguments in our response," he explained.

Brennan claimed that many of the arguments put forward were not credible. He accused Tesco of a significant contradiction in claiming it has a national pricing policy while admitting it allows stores to compete locally. 

However, he agreed with the tone of Sainsbury's submission which suggested that there was a 'clear problem' in the market.

John Murphy, director general of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, criticised Asda for using old data to support its arguments. Asda used an IGD Grocery Wholesaling Report from 2005. Murphy said: "The 2005 report shows growth of 1.9%, but the 2006 report cites growth of just 0.6%, a noticeable slowdown."

Topics