Sir: Small retailers have been coming under pressure from the multiples and discounters over the past few years, the latest high-street encroachment being the Booker-supplied BHS Food Stores (‘Booker slammed by wholesaler…,’ 5 April, p12). Bestway has fought for independents during this time as we believe small stores provide an essential service to shoppers and the economy.
However, now the wholesale channel is also coming under attack. Asda is actively targeting small businesses and Tesco is making another assault on the high street via One Stop.
My concern is that shops that sign up to either are supporting the multiples at the expense of the wholesaler. One Stop retailers are contracted to purchase almost exclusively from, what is in effect, Tesco, and Asda is using its buying power to seduce small businesses on price. One Stop even has first option to buy out the retailer after the five-year contract period so this may even be subterfuge to expand the Tesco brand into more high streets, but under a different guise.
James Hall, symbol director, Bestway