Face-off in the Grocery Aisle: Retailers and Suppliers Go Head-to-Head in Canada

Author: Mark C. Katz

Perhaps more than ever, tensions between suppliers and retailers have become the defining feature of the grocery industry worldwide. These tensions have also frequently formed the basis for interventions (or proposed interventions) by competition enforcement authorities in this sector.

Canada is no exception to this global trend. The Canadian retail grocery industry is intensely competitive, with retailers surviving on razor-thin margins. Not surprisingly, margins and pricing pressure at the retail level have led Canadian retailers to seek relief from suppliers.

This has generated considerable tension and also provided the backdrop—or source—for calls for competition law intervention.

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