Monday, December 15, 2008

Warr on Want

Mr David Warr, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Group, appears to suggest, in his Letter to the Editor in tonight’s Jersey Evening [sic] Post, that consumers who express a preference for a wider choice of shopping outlets don’t really want a greater choice of shops at all, but only rather more “fairness” in retailers’ pricing policies.
His logic and phraseology are tortuous, but he makes a disingenuous attempt, by alluding to the range of goods on display at one particular supermarket, to deliberately conflate availability of products with choice of supplier (they are very much not the same thing, Mr Warr), before going on to imply that the desire for a wider choice of suppliers is not genuine, but somehow a proxy for the wish merely that existing retailers demonstrate more “fairness”.
Clameur de Haro? suspects that this is very wide of the mark indeed, and that a wider choice of suppliers, with the benefits of more competition in both prices and service which that implies, is precisely what the vast majority of consumers want: and something moreover which they would enthusiastically vote for, with their feet and their wallets. Mr Warr should not however be blamed too much - his Chamber of Commerce role is, after all, to represent the views, and advance the interests, of traders for many of whom greater competition is anathema.
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1 comment:

TonyTheProf said...

My chief objection is that the prices would not come down. Doesn't anyone remember when the real Safeway (not the shop with the same name) was in Jersey. Did prices drop? Not really at all.

They even had local suppliers give them an invoice for head office to pay, and one without prices for the local store to check off goods received (that's inside knowledge!). It shows how careful they were to conceal the local markup. Would a third supermarket do lower prices or do the same? I think they'd price their goods more or less on par with the others, apart from some cheap loss-leader own brand items to get punters in. After all, that is what the last lot did.

The trouble is people seem to have the memory span of a goldfish.