Independent retailers can strike back against the supermarket chains if they have the courage to invest and innovate, according to Rodney Hunt, managing director of the Today's Group.
Speaking at the FWD conference, Hunt said changing public opinion towards the multiples was creating significant opportunities for independents.
"Consumers are seeing the multiples in a different light," he said. "They are recognising them as ogres of capitalism which are guilty of abusing their power."
The media is also becoming more critical of questionable practices such as the half-price fruit and vegetable scheme, which Hunt described as "an utterly indefensible abuse of the 28-day rule".
He concluded: "We should be taking advantage of this shift in attitude across the land to encourage the consumer to give their local independent retailer more support."
While acknowledging that the supermarkets have set standards which the independents must match, Hunt said the smaller retailer could become the store of choice for the shopper.
He said: "The FWD must make it its number one objective to encourage the retailer to bite the bullet and build a store locals will adore.
He added: "Don't be afraid of the multiples. Be brave, be innovative, and strike now."
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