Whole Foods Market is lobbying the Competition Commission to be considered as effective competition to the major multiples despite having just one large store in the UK.

The US retailer has also held itself up as a role model for other retailers in its dealing with suppliers. The points were made by Whole Foods in its latest response to the commission's provisional decision on remedies.

Whole Foods Market said that it wanted to be included in the commission's competitor set for local competition, which currently includes the big four multiples, Waitrose, Somerfield, the Co-operative societies and Marks & Spencer, to facilitate its rapid expansion plans.

It should be allowed to develop in areas other retailers were deemed dominant.

The impact its store in Kensington had on the competitor set proved it was effective competition, it said in the submission.

The opening of the store triggered range initiatives by its competitors, it claimed, citing Waitrose's inclusion of a breakfast bar, a home-cooked counter and a fresh food displays where organic meat and dairy produce at its refitted Marylebone store.

Whole Foods Market also noted the commission's concerns with concentration of competition in local markets. Though it was not advocating divestments, it claimed the UK grocery market required an injection of new competitive vigour.

"We submit that Whole Foods qualifies to be able to provide an ideal catalyst for intensifying this competitive process," it said.

The company went on to outline how its business model could act as benchmark for how to treat suppliers. "Our procurement principles will not be diluted as we grow in the UK," it said.

"From what we ha­ve observed in the concerns that have been expressed by the Competition Commission on the way buying power is being wielded by the ­competitor set, we will be ­creating an example that will be lauded by the entire supplier base."

Despite having reached a situation in the United States where it could wield buying power it had not done so and would continue to pay a fair price for any individual product as well as supporting small suppliers in times of difficulty, it said.