Sir; Cliff Goodman (‘How to create a more level playing field for smaller retailers’, Saturday Essay, December 3, p30) should indeed be concerned about the destructive trail of the Tesco juggernaut. Particularly if he believes that the only way to divert it is by offering similar goods at a competitive cost.
Indeed, price is the chief motivator for many shoppers. But by no means is it the only one. Businesses compete with points of difference.
Multiples, reproducing at their current exponential rate, are heading for ubiquity. An independent’s route to success, therefore, is diversity. There are umpteen ways to achieve that.
Independents can work hard to find products instead of common brands, personality rather than uniformity and an appealing choice. Generic suggestions these may be, but at least they’re a start.
Goodman offers practical suggestions for competitive buying and pricing. Certainly explore them. But the real make-or-break factor will be a store owner’s imagination.