Scotland, the east Midlands, London and the south west are likely to prove the main areas requiring stores disposals if either Sainsbury or Asda succeed in their bids for Safeway.
The last Competition Commission industry report in 2000 recommended that if any of the big five wanted to buy a store bigger than 11,000 sq ft within a 15-minute drive of one of its exsiting stores, it should need OFT consent. In urban areas the catchment is 10 minutes.
In Scotland 94% of both Sainsbury and Asda's stores are within a 15 minute drive of a Safeway store, according to research for The Grocer carried out by analyst CACI.
Three quarters of Asda's stores in the east Midlands are within 15 minutes of a Safeway, while 57% of its London stores are within this proximity and 61% of its south west stores.
Sainsbury has 51% of stores in London within 15 minutes of a Safeway while Morrisons' few stores in London are closely located to Safeway. If Tesco were to enter the frame there would be 68% of its stores in the south east within the 15 minute catchment.

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