Competition Commission hears impact of grocery retail giants on small business

The managing director of a Johannesburg based buying group and wholesaler, Louis Greeff, says there is a structural problem within the retail industry, giving big retail groups a monopoly over suppliers.

EST Africa negotiates for over 70 independent retailers.

The Competition Commission kicked off it's inquiry into the grocery retail market on Monday, as part of an ongoing investigation into reports of unfair competition practices within the sector.

READ: Investigation into the impact of big retailers on township economy ALSO READ: Commission probes "big four" supermarket chains

Greef has told the commission that big retailers are abusing their buying power.

The structural problem that has developed, the big four - Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Walmart and Spar - are the one-stop shop for all the suppliers. But with this power base they have built up based on their buying power, I think we at a stage now where there is an absolute abuse of this power taking place. Suppliers are being kept responsible for every need and every desire that these four might think about and need from a supplier.

Louis Greeff, Managing Director at EST Africa

We have no problem, they can open another 200 stores in the township but the issue that we have is that they come from a position where they are being favored so much and force suppliers into so many support agreements that the trading environment and that the opposition is not a fair opposition.

Louis Greeff, Managing Director at EST Africa

Create a leveled playing field for us, then a small independent trader can compete with them.

Louis Greeff, Managing Director at EST Africa

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview....


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