Tesco has questioned reports in the weekend press that MPs will call for the company to reveal how much it pays for goods and services.
According to reports, the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, which is due to release its report later this week, will urge the Office of Fair Trading to force Tesco to release details of what it pays for various goods. This, it is suggested, will allow small shops to compete with the retail giant and negotiate better deals with suppliers.
Tesco spokesman Jonathan Church told just-food that these reports are the latest in a line of leaks and speculations about what might or might not be included in the report.
Assuming the group of MPs were to call for such measures, Church says that Tesco would harbour a number of reservations. “There would firstly be a question of legality,” Church said. “Such a measure may lead to price-fixing, and this would not be good for the consumer.”
“We put the consumer at the heart of this debate. My concern would be that some of the proposals to come out of this group do not.
“Big companies and small businesses can and do co-exist. At a supplier level Tesco works with a number of small-scale suppliers. Small retailers have to look at the services they supply and see how they can innovate to offer something different to consumers.”