Sour grapes from the Supermarkets?
Just hours after the publication of the Competition Commission’s final report into the Grocery trade, some supermarkets were beginning to bleat on about how the costs of organising and paying for an Ombudsman to police activities in the sector would lead to increased prices in the shops for the consumer. However, the supermarkets already accept that some things do have to get in the way of delivering lower and lower prices to end users. For instance, I’m sure child labour in overseas sweatshops would help to reduce prices of goods on the shelves, but no one, including the supermarkets, accepts this as an ethical way of trading. The Ombudsman has been recommended by the CC because it thinks the supermarkets have continually and unfairly transferred excessive risks and unexpected costs on to their suppliers. Shouldn’t this be seen by the supermarkets as unethical trade practice too? A touch of sour grapes methinks.