Sir; A lot of effort is being put into keeping the existing Sunday trading hours for large stores to six hours, but the Association of Convenience Stores is wasting resources telling MPs that an extension in hours would be devastating for independents.
I don’t think it will make one iota of difference to us but will increase costs for supermarkets. I feel we should stick to the real issues and not hyperbole.
The Office of Fair Trading wants to see proof of how the multiples are using unfair means in the convenience sector, and we cite a great deal of anecdotal evidence, such as Proudfoot’s experience when Tesco was giving away £40 vouchers.
This evidence, it seems, is not good enough.Yet if Proudfoot cannot survive against the power of Tesco, how will any other independent? I feel we have talked enough with the OFT and various government departments, and the only way we are now going to salvage anything is by direct action.
Therefore, I am proposing a national one-hour strike when we all shut up shop, with the backing of the ACS, the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, all the symbol groups and the cash and carries.
If it can be co-ordinated, and our message is clear, it will have more effect on this government than any