The slow pace of implementation of recommendations made in the Competition Commission's (CC) grocery market inquiry last May means independent stores and consumers are losing out, say retailers' representatives, who are calling for the government to intervene in the process.

Following Tesco's successful appeal against the proposed planning competition test, the CC is still to decide whether to make a revised recommendation, increasing retailers' frustration at the lack of progress.

"The CC could take up to six months, and if it maintains its recommendation for a competition test then we would still have to await a lengthy government process to decide whether to implement it," said ACS chief executive James Lowman. "Real action is a long way off and we are calling on politicians to step in and act for consumers where the competition institutions are failing to make a difference."

Deputy director general of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) James Bielby said: "The Commission recommended action to protect consumers, but that was almost a year ago and we still haven't seen any concrete action to do anything about it.

"It is now time for ministers to step in where the Commission is failing to act."

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