The PRA has opened its doors to supermarket membership as it seeks to enhance its stature and influence within the industry, particularly in the face of the government’s spotlight on fuel pricing.
Recent confirmation of Tesco as its newest member, follows earlier recruitment of a major supermarket which wishes to remain nameless.
Traditionally a trade association representing the interests of independent retailers, the PRA’s move marks a significant change - not just in attitude towards the supermarkets, but also the structure of the market.
The PRA’s executive director Gordon Balmer, said: ”I am delighted that Tesco has joined the PRA. Their position as a market leader in fuel sales significantly enhances the PRA’s stature and influence within the industry.
“Their inclusion underscores the PRA’s dedication to represent the diverse and influential voices within the petrol retailing landscape. We look forward to a fruitful partnership and the positive impact Tesco will undoubtedly bring to our association.”
Balmer said his independent retailer members were “fine” with it, and he had received positive feedback from them, appreciating that times had changed.
Given the level of government scrutiny on prices and reducing fuel sales, the fact that more retailers were altogether in one trade association, putting more influence in its position, was generally welcomed.
Market dynamics in terms of supermarkets has also changed with top independent retailers EG Group buying Asda and the same investors backing MFG and Morrisons.
”We’re all in the business of trying to manage what ultimately is a declining market as far as fossil fuels is concerned, and by having a leading retailer in terms of fuel volume adds credibility to our association,” stressed Balmer.