LANDMARK Wholesale has fired heavy criticism in the direction of the Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to approve the merger of retail giant Tesco with wholesaler Booker.
John Mills, managing director of Landmark Wholesale said he is incredibly disappointed with the CMA’s decision and warned that it could lead to job losses across retail and wholesale.
“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. As a result of this decision Tesco, who currently account 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.
“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.
“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.
The CMA’s provisional report on the £3.7bn merger of Tesco and Booker found no substantial limit to competition, with a final decision due on 26 December. Interested parties are invited to make representations to the CMA on its provisional findings.