Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 11:17 UK

Supermarket shake-up: At a glance

Shopper with carrier bags
This is the final report of a two-year investigation

The Competition Commission has made a number of recommendations to remedy problems it has identified in the UK's grocery market.

Here are some of the commission's key measures, which it hopes will improve consumer choice.

Some of them will require government action to be introduced.


  • A new, stronger code of practice to be set up - detailing how suppliers should be are dealt with - and applying to all major grocery retailers.
  • Grocery retailers to be banned from retrospectively changing contracts with suppliers.
  • Supermarkets to employ staff whose role will be ensuring that the code is followed.
  • An independent ombudsman to be appointed to arbitrate in any disputes between retailers and their food suppliers. They will have the power to award compensation and will uphold the code.


  • The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to be consulted on all planning applications to build new larger supermarkets and extend existing ones.

  • The OFT will advise local governments on the implementation of a "competition test" when deciding whether to give planning permission for new supermarkets. New stores in areas where one chain is dominant will pass the test, the Competition Commission says.
  • Supermarkets to release existing restrictive covenants on 30 pieces of land identified by the commission in areas with little competition between retailers, which are being used to prevent competitors opening on the site. Future such covenants to be banned.
  • An end to exclusivity arrangements that last longer than five years between land owners - such as local authorities - and retailers. Any such deals which have been in place for five years to be lifted.
  • There is no recommendation to sell any stores of land holdings.

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