Does the CC have the foggiest idea what it is doing? It appears to change its mind at every turn, holding strong opinions until the next persuasive argument comes along, and regularly plays soft and slow, and a little bit loose with facts. Its interpretation of the c-store market is a classic case in point. Last week we told you how the CC had extrapolated data from Experian Goad to demonstrate that the convenience sector was in fact growing. Brilliant! I wonder who persuaded it to use that source? What I hadn't realised was that far from overlooking The Grocer's handy Little Black Book, published on 19 May and containing thorough analysis of the exact state and makeup of the c-store market, the CC had dismissed it on the grounds it "is missing a significant number of new entries into that c-store sector". This is an amazing liberty to take with data supplied by the combined forces of IGD and The Knowledge Store, our own research operation, in a methodology that's been endorsed by HIM, TNS, Nielsen, IRI and the ACS. Puzzled by their dismissal of our data, we did a few checks and discovered (see p4) that in a town where their methodology suggested a grand total of five stores, ours showed 31. This whopping disparity shows the sheer inadequacy of the tools they are relying upon and underscores how comprehensive The Knowledge Store data is by contrast. (Experian didn't help its cause by including a C&C among the five it identified). The question you then have to ask is: if they are using such selective, limited data here, is it an isolated case or part of a wider malaise of muddied thinking? The Grocer is firmly independent on the issue of competition. We leave that to the experts. But it's vital the CC is in possession of the f ull facts. Otherwise, how can it hope to reach a fair conclusion?