In an article for the Scottish Herald
, Joanna Blythman, author of Bad Food Britain, said yesterday that Scotland is becoming "Tesco nation", where consumer choice is evaporating. The food writer has joined residents and traders in opposing plans for a Tesco Metro to be built in Craiglockhart in Edinburgh, which have already been approved by the council. She said that competition authorities in Britain had neglected their duty by allowing the retailer to assume such a prominent position and called for a moratorium on new supermarket developments, adding: "Tesco is rapidly becoming Britain's variation of Wal-Mart. It is a voracious retail monster, gobbling up as much share of the nation's shopping basket as it can. It's been allowed by the competition authorities to achieve a level of dominance over the retail market which it should never have been allowed to do. There needs to be questions asked now about what the government and competition authorities are going to do. We have to start talking about a moratorium on new supermarket developments and changing planning laws so that local communities can stop supermarkets. As it is, if we keep going in the direction we are headed in, we're going to end up with the retail equivalent of a one-party state. People used to complain about what they called Tesco town in Inverness. Now we're moving more towards having a Tesco nation. We're very different from other European countries which have a vigorous culture of independent shops."
However, Professor Leigh Sparks, of the Institute of Retail Studies at Stirling University, said that Tesco had been successful in giving consumers what they wanted and persuading them to stay loyal."Tesco is a very good retailer and they have been very effective at getting sites and operating those sites," he said.