Consumer group unfazed by Tesco market strength

Despite the protestations from some rivals about Tesco's market dominance, a top consumer watchdog has backed the grocer.

Consumers' Association spokesman Phil Evans was comfortable with Tesco's profits and market strength, despite the fact that it takes£1 in every£8 spent in UK and accounts for 6 per cent of non-food sales. 'Inquiries into the supermarket sector have shown the market to be generally competitive,' said Evans.

Tesco company secretary Lucy Neville-Rolfe insisted competition remains stiff. 'We have gone through two competition enquiries and the regulators found people come and go', she said. 'Clothing has gone extremely well for us because we have brought prices down.'

Neville-Rolfe said aggressive pricing helped grow the market. Tesco has slashed the price of Florence & Fred dresses from£15 to£10 in the past year, and sells bras for£3 and briefs for£1.

- OFT appeal: page 5.