Outline The Nature of Supermarkets Power On The High Street and Beyond. This essay is looking at the power of supermarkets and how they use this power. The word power is often used to “denote influence, control or domination” (Allen, 2009, p.59) Supermarkets use this power over suppliers, workers, Councils, consumers and other shops and there are conflicting views as to whether this power is used for the good of everyone or at the expense of everyone other than the supermarkets themselves or as Dennis Wrong (1977) calls it Positive Sum Game- “where all parties involved benefit to some extent” or Zero Sum Game- “where supermarkets wield their power at the expense of others” (Allen, 2009, p.70)
Supermarkets due to their sheer size and buying power have a huge advantage over the small independent high street shops. They offer a massive choice of products at a low price because they are able to buy in large quantities at discounted prices, sometimes even below cost price. These out of town supermarkets have convenient parking and consumers are able to do all their shopping in one place, from food, clothing, electrical equipment, financial services, gas and electricity etc... This all makes shopping in these retail parks easier and cheaper for the consumer and the smaller independent high street shops are unable to match these prices, choices and convenience and are therefore unable to compete against the giants. “As we’ve seen a move towards more out-of-town, car-dependent stores with large-format retail dominating, its driven trade away from town centres which has clearly had an impact on the small shops that are there, and we see approximately fifty small shops, independent shops, closing every week” Helen Rimmer (Friends of the earth) (‘Evidence in the social sciences’, 2009 track 1) The big supermarkets have also introduced small high street Metro and Express stores to put further pressure on the independents and gain those consumers without cars and who...
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