Adjudicator to launch investigation into Tesco buying practices

Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon has launched her first formal investigation, into Tesco, following the retailer's profit over-statement last September.

Image: HW
Image: HW

The investigation is expected to take six to nine months, with evidence to be submitted by 3 April.

It will cover the conduct of Tesco plc from 25 June 2013, when the GCA was created, up to today, and will consider whether the company breached the Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice, which the GCA was established to police.

It will look at the supermarket's behaviour in relation to the code's requirements on delays in payments to suppliers; payments from suppliers for better positioning; consumer complaints; invoicing discrepancies; deductions for unknown or un-agreed items; incorrect deductions for promotional fixed costs; and deductions in relation to historic promotions which had not been agreed.

The scope of the investigation may be later extended to include other retailers if evidence should point to a need for this.

Tacon said: "I have applied the GCA published prioritisation principles to each of the practices under consideration and have evidence that they were not isolated incidents, each involving a number of suppliers and significant sums of money."

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