"Consolidation is a result of the market becoming more competitive. More retailers are becoming sharper on price and the focus is placed on ensuring the discount chains do not offer better value."

"Future developments will see buyers and suppliers having a greater understanding of each other and their businesses. Suppliers will be working for gold at the end of the supply rainbow, but it will become more important for buyers to seek better quality at no extra cost."

"As consumers face continuing tightening of their belts through price rises that are out of their control, such as gas, electricity, fuel and mortgage rates, they will continue to demand value from retailers. Being recognised for price leadership will remain a key driver of success."

"Striving to be number one puts pressure on suppliers to take costs out of the supply chain. The smarter suppliers are tuned into this and are able to deliver savings while still driving their own profitability, but those who are not so savvy are losing out."

"One minute, the media is praising retailers for their success and the next it is claiming that they make too much money from the public. It is ironic that headlines such as 'Rip-off Britain', and reports on how retailers are abusing their power and putting too much pressure on manufacturers to lower their prices, come from an industry that monopolises its retail prices."

"Own label pressure on UK and European manufacturers will continue as the Far East continues to develop. Retailers have had to branch out into other areas to help fund the ever-decreasing retail price of goods to consumers, as well as put more and more pressure on their supply base."

"If the big retailers continue to work on price perception they will need something extra to differentiate themselves, so quality, sourcing and non food are likely to play a big part in the future. Consolidation makes this a challenge."

"Clearly there is only so much you can save, no matter how much volume. Open-book costing may well be the answer and many are already taking this approach, planning targets three years ahead."