More players in the grocery sector would encourage lower prices, concludes a study released Tuesday by the Competition Bureau.
“Canada needs solutions to control the price of the grocery cart. Increasing competition is a key part of the solution,” reads the report titled Canada Needs More Competition in the Grocery Sector, a title that says a lot about the findings of the Competition Bureau. Currently, the industry is led by five major players in the country: Loblaw (Maxi, Provigo), Sobeys (IGA), Metro, Maxi and Costco.
Support the entry of new entrants into the supermarket industry, “promote the growth” of independent merchants, allow the entry of international players, establish a clear unit price display process and “limit the use of ownership controls that make it difficult to open new grocery stores” are among the key recommendations made to the federal government.
Faced with steadily rising consumer grocery bills, the agency announced in October that it would be scrutinizing rising food prices and looking at competition among major retailers.
At the time of this announcement, several experts consulted had not hidden their skepticism. According to them, this study would have a “limited” scope.