FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on Sainsbury’s to provide assurances to its supply chain, in response to news of a potential merger with Asda.

The call comes in reaction to comments made by Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe this morning, referring to the new larger supermarket being able to achieve better discounts from suppliers.

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum, said: “We’re very concerned that the new, larger business could use its position to further squeeze the small businesses in their supply chain, who are already working on tight margins.

The Forum notes previous experience of large retail groups imposing discounts on their smaller suppliers, often with little notice and a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude towards these smaller firms.

Ian Cass added: “While the merger would provide a strong retailer with the ability to compete with Tesco, we are concerned that the two new retail giants would effectively cover over 50% of the market, which could potentially have a hugely detrimental impact on smaller businesses."

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.