from Chris Futter, MD, Redorange

Sir; The Office of Fair Trading’s announcement last week that it plans to continue treating the grocery retail trade as two separate markets - supermarkets and convenience stores - will sadly bolster the multiple retailers’ threat to independent and community shops.
Redorange represents 42 independent businesses in the c-store sector and has been in existence since 1982. During that time we have seen the damage the multiples have done to our members’ businesses first hand, with many having fallen by the wayside.
However, by far the greatest damage to independent stores has been the incursion of the multiples into their market, so prevalent in the past few years. This has led to shops of character and individuality being lost to the standard format of characterless Tesco Metros or Expresses in the most profitable locations, with an accompanying loss of range and choice.
Redorange actively supports the Localise It campaign and I would like to add our voice to the message for consumers: once the independents have gone, they will realise what they have lost.
Every pound spent in a locally owned shop circulates a tremendous number of times in the local economy and supports other local businesses.
Every pound spent in a multiple leaves the local economy immediately.