10 April 2007, 18:41 PM
  • The outcome of the Competition Commission's inquiry into the grocery market has been increased by a further three months.

Retailers will have to wait a bit longer to hear of the findings of the investigation, which are now scheduled to be published in February 2008, rather than November 2007. This also means that provisional findings, which were intended to be published in June, will now have to wait until September.

The CC will continue with analysis of the evidence which includes prices charged by grocery suppliers to retailers and wholesalers, an assessment of barriers to entry into grocery retailing and the impact of below cost selling and pricing strategies.

The move to extend the deadline has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores. James Lowman, chief executive of ACS, said, “This inquiry is a once in a generation opportunity to achieve fairness in the grocery market and is too important to rush the conclusions.

“We had warned the Commission that the original timetable caused unnecessary pressure on the process. ACS has called for the Commission to prioritise thoroughness over speed and we are pleased they have heeded our call.”