Large-scale supermarkets might face anti-competition charges, as the Office of Fair Trade (OFT) was ordered by a tribunal to look into claims that retail giants are driving smaller convenience stores out of business. In particular, the inquiry would look into how Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have grown in dominance in food retailing over the past half-decade.
The growth of the retail giants has been beneficial to consumers, with dropping prices, and increasing choices of products and services. However, in the long run, this may be harmful not only to the local, small businesses, but to consumers in general. Once the retail giants have eliminated all competition, then consumers would have no choice but to turn to them for all their needs!
The continuing dominance of large retailers may be a hindrance to setting up businesses oriented towards retail. OFT’s move may have been too late; complaints had been lodged as early as a year ago, but the OFT chose not to act then. However, it’s still better late than never.