Assignment 1 + 2: Supermarket Supremacy

According to Terry Roe, Mathew Shane and Agapi Somwaru in the article The Rapid Expansion of the Modern Retail Food Marketing in Emerging Market Economies: Implications to Foreign Trade and Structural Change in Agriculture, they talk about supermarkets being “a rapidly growing share of the retail food market” straight away in the introduction. And it is easy to see this sudden emergence all around us. When it comes to shopping, we tend to avoid the smaller shops, as the supermarkets tend to have everything that we need.

Why make the effort on travelling all the way to a shop where we can buy everything in one go, and in less time as well?

However, this article does talk about there is “concerns expressed with the expansion of supermarkets and their possible harmful effects on the welfare of traditional farmers.” However in this article, that was all the relevant information I could find, with the article being more determined on talking about the economy of these markets.  However, these were good starter points into looking at supermarket supremacy.

When I looked into examples for supermarkets causing a decline, there was an influx of documents that looked into Indonesia, so it’s clear that it’s not just a problem within the UK, but also it is a global problem as well. There were some details in the documents that I found to be quite interesting indeed. In the research article Impact of Supermarkets on Traditional Markets and Retailers in Indonesia’s Urban Centers written by Daniel Suryadarma, Adri Poesoro, Sri Budiyati, Akhmadi, Meuthia Rosfadhila. One key point that was made in the executive summary was that “traditional markets are the real victims of the intense competition as they lose their customers due to the cheap, high quality products and the more comfortable shopping environment that supermarkets provide.“

So we can see that there is a common problem being shown in these few documents. Traditional markets are in a stage of panic, one that is causing a decline due to the power supermarkets hold on the consumers today.
I found an article by the Telegraph, written in 2009, that talked about the majority of traditional markets (around 3’000) are in a decline. However times have changed since then, and I have not been able to find if this is still the case. Yet from some more recent articles, it seems there is still a problem. The decline is threatening a tradition that has been within the community for a long time. With Coventry Market, it has been through troubling times (such as the WW2) yet has still carried on strong. Yet could simple supermarkets cause direct problems?

In a House of Commons report, it talks about how in earlier times there was no competition at all. It was part of life, and it was easy to run. Nowadays, there is stiffer competition, turning the running of the market into a business. Simon Quin, Chief Executive, Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), said that: “…The brave new world of supermarkets… took over from markets. Markets that have been the backbone of our town and city centres and indeed the very reason that many centres exist…in almost one generation were lost or neglected.”

And what doesn’t help as well that markets aren’t given permission today to expand at all. For some it is deemed to dangerous to expand the market. Yet supermarkets are given permission to expand wherever they wish. So is it any wonder why Traditional Markets are in decline at all?

However, the Government is now adopting a protective stance over these Traditional Markets to protect them.  A group, called the Retail Markets Alliance, has been created to give assistance. This I feel is a great step forward is making a stand for the markets. And one example looked at is Newcastle’s Market, and in some cases it is similar to Coventry’s. Both markets also have customer base in students as well as other shoppers, with Rob Pattinson saying “The students have started coming here and not the supermarket, because they can pick what they want and get it cheaper. They see supermarkets as a rip-off, which they know won’t happen here.”

And yet, the only way for students to know of these good deals is via word of mouth. You see advertisement on Newspapers, Radio and Tv for supermarket brands, but how often do you see advertisement for a market? For Coventry Market, there is hardly any advertisement around the city, because there is tons for supermarkets and other stores. So perhaps it could be the markets fault for the decline for the lack of promotion? This could be due to a lack of modernising though.

So we can see that supermarkets have caused an effect on markets, this being down to cheaper goods and access. Yet there are some faults with the markets themselves, as they don’t help themselves when some don’t modernise or advertise themselves to the public that much.



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