SIR; We are calling on the secretary of state of trade and industry, Alan Johnson, to order an immediate inquiry into the retail giants’ unfair dominance of the grocery market before it is too late to stop the ruination of Britain’s high streets.
We have written to Johnson, calling on him to use his powers to instruct the Office of Fair Trade to stop dithering.
It could take months for the OFT to make up its mind and then years before an inquiry announces its findings. By then, the retail giants will have opened hundreds more Tesco and Asda corner shops and hypermarkets, and will have driven out all the independents who offer customers much better value, quality and choice.
News that the new OFT chief executive, John Fingleton, has agreed to meet MP Jim Dowd, who is heading the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, is to be welcomed.
But we want the secretary of state to order action right now, before it is too late.