Supermarket collapse would cost families £700 a year extra

Households would need to spend an extra £700 a year on food if supermarket supply chains snapped, data suggests.

It comes after a Conservative MP argued it is “in our mid and long-term interest that these logistics chains… break”.

West Dorset MP Chris Loder claimed the collapse of supermarkets, which he labelled “commercial predators”, would mean farmers could start selling to local shops again.

However, Telegraph analysis of Kantar figures suggests this could hit consumers hard, as bigger chains charge less for staples.

READ MORE: Sunak denies responsibility for empty supermarket shelves

The gap is especially wide on products like butter, which costs an average of more than 50 per cent more at independent shops.

A typical British household would pay about £40 a year more for eggs, butter and milk if it avoided supermarkets completely.

If the same increase is applied across all products, the annual household cost rises by £688. 

Peter Levell, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said a collapse of supply chains risked creating a worse outcome for consumers. 

“Supermarkets have outcompeted smaller stores as their scale allows them to offer lower prices,” he said.

Loder’s argument were swiftly condemned by business leaders and members of his own party.

Speaking to Sky News, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I don’t think anyone would say there’s an upside to people struggling… and not being able to get what they want. 

“No-one wants to see that.”

He suggested that reports of food shortages were part of Britain’s “transition” to a “higher wage, high skill economy, more productive economy”.

Labour party chair Anneliese Dodds said: “Britain’s supermarkets are the lifeblood of our economy and help put food on millions of British tables. 

“The Conservatives need to get back to the real world and get a grip on the crises working people are facing.”

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • The supermarkets are far too big to break and even if they did, they’d merge together, even if it meant we had a single Amazon styled supermarket where everyone would go, the Government and the free market would never allow the collapse of supermarkets. We aren’t heading back to times of visiting the local fishmongers any time soon…even if that would be a good thing for local communities and local economies.

    When it comes to food distribution and food retail, capitalism works.

    Reply

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