One Stop shop

One Stop: three third parties raised competition concerns

One Stop’s acquisition of 33 c-stores from Spar retailer Alfred Jones was cleared because the deal would increase Tesco’s market share by a mere 0.02%, the full text of the OFT’s decision has revealed.

The Tesco-owned c-store chain acquired the stores in July. The deal was examined by the OFT and given the green light in September.

Releasing the full text of its decision this week, the OFT said the turnover generated by the acquisition stores generated a national share of less than 0.02% and that other competitors would “provide a competitive constraint on the merged entity at the national level”. The OFT also said three third parties had “raised competition concerns suggesting that Tesco’s existing national market position would be strengthened by the merger”.

The latest available data from Kantar Worldpanel shows Tesco had a market share of 29.8% in the 12 weeks to 10 November.

The OFT also revealed its investigation into the deal had focused on possible competition concerns in four local areas - Moreton, Haydock, Woodvale and West Derby.

In each of these areas, the OFT said the number of fascias within a five-minute drive time would be reduced from four to three or less. However, it ruled the stores were not each other’s closest geographic competitors.

Speaking earlier this month about the deal, One Stop CEO Tony Reed said: “This deal illustrates our continued investment in the business to deliver our growth strategy and follows the opening of our third distribution centre in Wakefield earlier this year. We’re delighted to secure local jobs in these areas and extend a warm welcome to the store staff.”

Earlier this month, One Stop opened its 700th store, in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.