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UK Petrol Retailers Association Slams Sainbury's, Asda Merger-Saving Proposals

By Publications Checkout
UK Petrol Retailers Association Slams Sainbury's, Asda Merger-Saving Proposals

The UK’s Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has slammed a proposed measure by Sainsbury’s and Asda to save their merger.

According to the PRA, the two retailers plan to cap the amount of profit they make on petrol, which could lead to job losses and closures across Britain’s network of independent fuel retailers.

“The proposed measures to save the struggling merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda will put thousands of independent petrol retailers out of business and decimate consumer choice across the UK, particularly in rural areas”, said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the PRA.

Forecourt Struggles

The PRA said the move has the potential to ‘distort the commercial forces acting on petrol stations,’ as supermarkets have the ability to share the cost of petrol station operations with areas of their business that independent petrol retailers cannot.

It added that since 2000, nearly 70% of independent fuel retailers have been forced to close as supermarkets have increased their entry into the fuel market.

PRA said that this has ‘significantly reduced the choice for the consumer and are forcing motorists to drive ever further to fill up’.

“The PRA and its members view the latest proposal from Sainsbury’s and Asda to cap fuel margins as unenforceable and running counter to the CMA’s guidelines that the remedies should not involve behavioural change that requires high-level monitoring and enforcement,” Madderson continued.

“Independent petrol retailers are already struggling with very high costs including a business rates system that is not fit for purpose, sharply rising wage bills from the government’s National Minimum Wage, increasing insurance premiums and energy costs.

“This latest attempt by Sainsbury’s and Asda to keep their merger afloat will lead to the closure of hundreds of often small, family-run businesses providing essential services to hard-pressed rural communities.”

© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Clicksign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

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