Supermarkets rule supreme!
The BIG 4 are Tesco’s. Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrison’s – they rake in over £100 billion a year
We are told that now we have extraordinary cheap food costs.
Supermarkets started out as self service grocery stores. Now they are everywhere and sell everything. They have decimated the small corner shop, they have closed the butchers, greengrocers have gone to the wall, bakers can’t survive, fishmongers are redundant, cheese shops and delicatessens are wiped out, clothes shops are being undercut, electrical retailers are now totally undermined, toyshops are being replaced, bookshops have been killed off, sweetshops have gone, flower shops have wilted, and chemists are closed.
Is that all? Oh but No!
- *farmers are being ruined
- *milk producers are in despair
- *workers are being exploited – including forced to work weekends
- *roads are being clogged with distribution lorries
- *town centres are ghost areas
- *our countryside is blighted with massive stores & hypermarkets.
Anything worse? Oh but Yes!
- *there is the sale of alcohol – a loss leader, heavily promoted & discounted, with sickening multi-buy offers: this has a 3 hit impact – it has shut the off-licences, it has killed the pub trade, it has dramatically escalated the nation’s alcohol consumption, created a society of binge drinkers and drunks
- *there is the destruction of our social society with 24 hour 7 day a week shopping with staff unable to have family life at weekends.
- *there is congestion of cars on the roads, parking clogging, climate pollution, and an unfit and unhealthy population – people used to shop daily by foot but now drive!
- *food waste is enormous both through public massive over-buying of perishable food, encouraged by multi-offers, as well as large quantities of out of date food binned by the supermarkets themselves.
- *our traditional British villages are under siege due to the move into the countryside of these supermarkets and big retail centres – rural communities which were once virtually ‘self sufficient’ have been destroyed with small shops being driven out of business. My brother’s Norfolk village is an example – pub gone, shops gone
- *supermarkets are now intent on cornering the market for internet sales
There is a small community enclave in my own town. Inevitably the pub has already closed. One of The Four is opening one of their mini stores in that premises (they don’t even need planning permission and supermarkets are doing it all over the country), so this spells the death knell for the neighbouring independent shops – grocery store, off-licence, newsagents – and will also cause traffic mayhem.
Supermarkets can offer products at low prices by using their massive buying power to get goods from manufacturers at lower prices than any smaller store can. They don’t even pay for goods for at least 30 days after receipt from the vendor (or even demand credit terms of 90 days or more). Certain products are at times sold as loss leaders i.e. with negative profit margins, so as to attract shoppers to the supermarket and destroy any local competitors
What have our politicians done about the situation? Not very much, they have had almost nothing to say about it. There is no way they would confront supermarkets directly, as they are clearly terrified of them. However the first supermarket ombudsman “Groceries Code Adjudicator” has now been appointed to resolve disputes between supermarkets and suppliers (to ensure that supermarket groups do not abuse their relations with their suppliers and to make sure they’ve got fair contracts). [One of the past unfair practices involved supermarkets receiving a payment from a packaging firm in return for forcing their suppliers to use that packaging firm even if it was more expensive!]
Is this all really a price worth paying for convenience shopping?