The National Grocers Association (NGA) on Wednesday released a TV commercial calling out power buyers in the grocery space.
Looking to spread awareness to the “unfair and discriminatory tactics” of dominant food retailers, the commercial aired on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends.
“Four big chains control 69% of the market share and they systematically use their power to push smaller competitors out of business,” NGA said in a statement.
NGA, which represents more than 1,800 independent grocery retailers, said the commercial puts a spotlight on the harm these power buyers have created for independent and smaller grocers not only to compete, but to survive.
“For decades, dominant firms in the grocery marketplace have leveraged their buying power to demand special treatment through access to products, promotions and better prices from suppliers that are not offered to independent community grocers,” said NGA CEO and President Greg Ferrara in a statement. “This unchecked anti-competitive behavior leaves independent store owners and their customers with less choice, fewer options and paying more for goods and products. Independents aren’t looking for a free handout. They’re just looking for a level playing field to compete.”
The commercial comes as the FTC focus on the Robinson-Patman enforcement appears to be shifting, NGA said in a statement. The Robinson-Patman Act is a federal law passed in 1936 to prohibit price discrimination by suppliers against retailers.
“Independent grocers have been feeling the financial squeeze from these anti-competitive tactics for far too long,” said NGA SVP and Counsel Chris Jones in a statement. “As families continue to feel the negative impacts of high inflation, dominant food retailers are squeezing suppliers and as a result, forcing higher prices and fewer products on independent grocers and their customers. Lawmakers must stand up for Main Street businesses to demand an end to these discriminatory tactics and restore a competitive marketplace that benefits the local economy and grocery shoppers alike.”
The ad, paid for by the NGA, is geared to drum up support of the antitrust laws, the NGA said.