Why the Net will Destroy the Supermarket Status Quo
Even as the major multiples drag bemused suppliers into the electronic age, they are sowing the seeds of the end of their domination of the UK grocery trade. The Internet and Net trading are unwrapping the stranglehold that supermarkets have built up since the late 80s.Speculation? Probably not. The number of consumers converting to home or work shopping via Tesco or Waitrose and the ongoing investment from the City into large-scale trading exchanges make a shift in the balance of power inevitable. For many people it may still be an invisible change but behind the scenes a whole new architecture is being laid down that has already transformed the dynamics of trading in foods.We can expect that a major home delivery Internet rival will encroach on traditional markets within the next year. Take for example just one sector, the organic marketplace. SimplyOrganic.net has just taken in another £1m in investment from its founding shareholders and has the logistics and management capable of riding the ecology boom that is reportedly growing at 40% a year. Also unseen in the background in the same arena is Organicnation.com, which currently lacks the resource but has established an impressive range of more than 5000 organic lines through a dozen loyal and solid suppliers. This makes it the largest retailer of organic food in the UK, ten times larger than Tesco for example which is currently trying to up its range from 500 organic lines to 750. And on the B2B side there is Tradeorganex.com, which could prove to be the catalyst for greater change yet and suddenly bring online companies across the whole of Europe to trade. This competition for supermarkets did not exist a year ago and is happening across each market sector along the supermarket aisles.
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