The supermarket chain, which according to some estimates accounts for 45 per cent of the grocery retail sector, argues that the Competition Commission's definition of 'local' - a shopping trip within a 15 minute drive of home - underestimated how far people drive to shop.
In an open report to the Competition Commission, Tesco executives say that 30 minutes would give a more realistic radius of travel. The report also challenges the notion that Tesco dominate the grocery sector, arguing that within a 30 minutes' drive 98.6 per cent of shoppers had access to stores run by all five of the big supermarket chains.
The report argues that the grocery market has now become national, because people are willing to drive further and shop online.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist April 2007