Musgrave Group managing director Seamus Scally has urged the independent sector to fight back against the multiples. He told delegates: "I'm here to tell you how we took almost 20% of the Irish grocery market back from under the noses of the multiples ­ including the UK and European multiples and discounters who, because they didn't do their homework, are now struggling in our marketplace." He said that 20 years ago, independents had only 30% of the market, but now they controlled 50%, "or to put that another way, 50% of Irish consumers do their main shop in an independent store every week". Scally told wholesalers they should not own their own stores. He said: "Wholesaler owned stores just don't work. They don't inspire confidence among independents and they sure as hell don't inspire loyalty." But he said wholesalers should buy stores to sell them on to independents. He admitted that the independent sector in the Irish Republic had been helped by legislation preventing below cost selling and putting a cap on the size of superstores. But he said this had come about as a result of massive lobbying by the independent sector and urged UK retailers to do the same. He added: "You are pushing against an open door here. Your government is committed to urban renewal and the renewal of local communities. "You have to get together, invest, make the case for the independent sector, and push that door open before the multiples mop up." {{NEWS }}