Food Heroes and Shoppers Share Supermarket Threat

Research shows that retail giants have detrimental effect on consumers

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Love them or loathe them, we are all aware of the threat posed to local independent food traders by supermarkets however, research has now revealed that the retail giants are having a detrimental effect on us the consumers.

A report published by The Competition Commission revealed a healthy picture of the retail grocery environment with sales increasing and prices continuing to fall. However, the British Brands Group was struck by the lack of weight being given to consumer data and was interested to get a clearer picture of the consumer’s perspective.

According the British Brands Group, evidence shows the growth of the big four supermarkets has diminished the range of independent shops. Not surprising findings, however, at the same time the structure of the consumer society is changing leading to an increased demand for a more varied retail structure.

So, in urging the Competition Commission to look more deeply into any possible gap between consumer wants and the offer provided by existing stores, the group commissioned a study into the nature of consumer shopping requirements and the extent to which the existing grocery retail structure meets consumer needs. Their study revealed a different picture that saw consumers being short changed through lack of choice and harbouring high levels of dissatisfaction.

John Noble, Director of the British Brands Group said, “Supermarkets meet basic needs well but, for many, other factors have to be compromised in order to benefit from the convenience of “all under one roof”. With an increasingly diverse UK population but an increasingly homogenous retail offer with declining numbers of specialist and convenience stores, these surprisingly high levels of dissatisfaction are only set to increase.”

The British Brands Group's full report is available here.

September 19, 2007