Jerry Marwood, Managing Director, SPAR (UK) Ltd has responded cautiously to the Competition Commission’s Provisional Findings.

On receiving the report published this morning Marwood said: “The Competition Commission has made a conscious attempt to be balanced. There is a serious competition problem in the market and but we can take reassurance from the fact that the report shows that the Competition Commission will go further in their investigation into the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers. However we still need to remain cautious.

“We have some concerns about the lack evidence gathering the Competition Commission undertook especially in view of what is happening in the convenience market. On planning issues, there is likely to be a debate on the effect of land banking and other land controls such as restrictive covenants by the major multiples on local competition.

“Through the ACS we are able to collaborate on significant political and economic issues and in situations like this it is important to remember that we speak on behalf of the many small independent businesses that are not able to do speak on their own. Convenience is growing and we want to promote fair competition in our market.

“The ACS is the voice of the independent retail sector. Independents have a long and proud history and we come together to collaborate on issues like this which affect the whole industry. The organisation is a forceful, balanced and credible voice for local shops in Government and politics at all levels. It is our job to ensure that those decision makers are convinced about the value that local shops bring to the economy, of the communities they serve.

“We will continue to provide every support we can to the Competition Commission.”