The Competition Commission's “statement of issues” outlining the specific questions and areas that it intends to examine as part of its investigation into the grocery market, has been largely welcomed by the industry.

The Competition Commission said yesterday that its inquiry would examine supply chain issues, retail competition and planning, landuse and other barriers to entry.

Analysts said that the multiples were likely to welcome the news that the Competition Commission would not be extending the investigation to markets for products and services other than groceries, including petrol, clothing and home entertainment, and that it would only be looking at competition issues.

Citigroup added that retailers had “little to fear other than potential changes to the planning process.”

The Association of Convenience Stores also welcomed the statement. James Lowman, the ACS' director of public affairs, said: “This is exactly the sort of inclusive and thorough review that we have been asking for. The Commission is looking at the market from top to bottom.”

Meanwhile, reports suggest that the commission will start its inquiry with visits to the head offices of Asda and Morrisons next week.