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Squeezing out the small specialists

I wish Jim Reeve well in his new post in the depolarised Barclays but I take issue with his Commentary article. Barclays now re-enters this market in the wake of the Bradford and Bingley fiasco, insisting that volume overrides will finance added-value service and fair treatment for customers. A bold statement from a big bank.

He also states that manufacturers pay higher margins to distributors in the grocery retail trade and that the money goes in the opposite direction but has the same end result. The small specialist retailer is squeezed out of existence and many manufacturers cannot survive on the margins the big distributors enforce on them.

The end result is plain to see. Tesco has 30 per cent maket share. Barclays will now “select the best provider for each productas a more customer-focused approach”.I hope there will be enough providers to achieve this.

Stuart PlowmanBeverley, East Yorkshire

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