Wholesalers have reacted with disappointment to the news that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved Tesco’s takeover of Booker.
Landmark Wholesale managing director John Mills commented: “We are incredibly disappointed with the CMA’s decision. This move will not increase competition, it will destroy it.”
The combined Tesco/Booker business has sales of £60bn while the rest of the UK wholesale industry amounts to £25bn.
Other wholesalers will not be able to compete with the buying and distribution power of Tesco/Booker, Mills claims.
As a result of this decision Tesco, which currently accounts for £1 in every £8 on the high street, will dominate the convenience and corner shop market and will undoubtedly now dominate the food service/out of home market as well, according to Mills.
“We believe that there is a risk that thousands of jobs will disappear from family-run foodservice wholesalers and independent stores and the net impact will reduce choice for consumers and communities, a point that seems to have been totally lost to the CMA,” Mills added.
Mills believes the challenge is now for Landmark, and others, to work harder than ever to find better, smarter and more efficient ways of buying and working.
“We will continue to work closely with our members to ensure that we provide them with the best possible trading platform to compete in this changing and increasing competitive marketplace,” he said.