The Competition Commission's (CC) proposal to scrap the existing Supermarket Code of Practice and replace it with a new code - GSCOP - to cover all retailers with a grocery turnover of more than £1bn has raised more questions than answers.
The threshold would see the likes of Waitrose, the Co-operative Group and Marks & Spencer covered by the code, but as C-Store went to press it was unclear whether symbol groups will be included.
The CC's provisional findings in October raised the possibility, but last week's remedies document made no specific mention of symbol groups, referring only to "UK grocery retailers that are part of corporate groups with a turnover greater than £1bn in the supply of groceries at a retail level".
ACS has called the proposal "bizarre" and has asked the CC for clarification of the extent of the code, which would make it compulsory for corporations to appoint a compliance officer and to keep detailed records of communications between retailer and supplier. It has also asked for clarification on the definition of "groceries", as tobacco and news supply were not considered by the CC.
"Extending the scope of the code will not address the imbalance of buyer power that exists between the Big Four and every- one else," said chief executive James Lowman.