Waitrose Boss Fires Verbal Broadside At Tesco

The managing director of Waitrose has launched a scathing attack on Tesco, accusing it of being anti-competitive and of exploiting its financial muscle to crush its opponents.
Mark Price, head of the upmarket grocery retailer, said in a report in the Times newspaper that the Competition Commission must take immediate action to stop Britain turning into “Tescoland”.
Mr Price claimed that only Tesco and Asda would be left as major players in the grocery industry within a quarter of a century if Tesco’s “aggressive expansion” was to carry on unchecked.
The head of Waitrose said that although Tesco claims that customers are opting to shop at its stores, the reailty is that consumers are motivated by easy access. “If there is a Tesco on every corner, that is where they will go,” he said.
He claimed that rival supermarkets’ efforts to acquire more sites were proving unsuccessful because of Tesco’s vast reserves and that smaller independent shops were also suffering because of Tesco selling below cost.
Tesco, the UK’s leading supermarket group with a 31.7 per cent market share, is pumping millions into its offers, therefore enabling it to stamp out any competition, Price stated.
A spokesman for Tesco responded: “Waitrose should know full well it is a very competitive market out there. More than 94 per cent of the population has access to three or more supermarkets .”
“There is plenty of choice out there and we are confident the Competition Commission will find that in its inquiry .”
The Competition Commission will next month report the results of its inquiry into the dominance of Britain’s major supermarkets, particularly Tesco, over the grocery sector.

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