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Waitrose blocked rivals from opening nearby, CMA finds


Waitrose
Waitrose has admitted to blocking rival supermarkets from opening near by
// Waitrose signed property deals on seven stores that prevented landlords from renting to rival supermarkets in nearby stores
// CMA director Adam Land said: “It’s disappointing that Waitrose has acted against the interests of shoppers”

Waitrose has admitted to signing property deals with landlords that prevented other supermarkets from opening nearby after an investigation by the UK competition watchdog.

The John Lewis Partnership supermarket has agreed to rewrite several land agreements after it admitted to seven breaches to the Groceries Market Investigation (Controlled Land) Order 2010.

The stores in which it agreed restrictive terms that prevented rivals from opening nearby were in Bromsgrove, Rustington, Swindon, Daventry, Chester, Notting Hill Gate and Market Harborough.

CMA senior director of remedies Adam Land said: “It’s disappointing that Waitrose has acted against the interests of shoppers, despite these rules having been in place for over 10 years.

“Families across the UK are facing the rising cost of living. Preventing other supermarkets from opening new stores could stop people saving on their weekly shop. Waitrose is now putting this right so that everyone gets a fair deal.”


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A Waitrose spokesperson said: “We’ve identified and addressed a small number of historic errors, but don’t believe we’ve enforced these to stop new shops opening. All of these branches are closely surrounded by other supermarkets, offering plenty of choice for customers.

“We’ve worked closely with the CMA and have now strengthened our internal processes.”

Tesco was found to introduced similar terms in 2020 with the CMA finding it had breached the same rules 23 times.

Land said the CMA would continue to take action when its rules were broken, and has written to the other big supermarket groups to demand that their land deals comply with the Order.



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