Dd131 Tma 02 Supermarket Power

1262 words, 6 pages

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TMA 02 -DD131
Supermarket Power
By
Emma Murray

Is Supermarket Power a Zero –‘sum game’?
In this Essay I will debate that supermarket power is a ‘Zero- sum’ game. I will discuss a theory of ‘Zero- sum’ game by sociologist Dennis Wrong (1997). I will then discuss evidence to back up this theory; using examples of declining numbers of high street stores and the power that supermarket have to put small shops out of business. I will then look at evidence that low prices in supermarkets are created at the expense of low paid workers globally.
There are mixed opinions on the power of supermarkets, Sociologist Dennis Wrong (1997) explains supermarket power as a ‘zero sum’ game, this is understood easier as a... View More »

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Pro supermarket campaigners however argue that supermarkets use their power for common good, delivering low prices, regenerating run down areas, creating jobs and attracting people to struggling high streets, this view suggests a Positive sum game rather than a zero sum game. (Allen, 2009, p.74)
A benefit of Big supermarkets having so much market share enables them to buy in bulk more cheaply which in turn passes on those reductions to us buyers at the checkouts, yes, as supermarkets state, this is giving people what they want, low prices, but at who’s expense! Supermarkets deal with around 2000 supplier’s both small and globally. Supermarkets may claim they put business to small suppliers but small suppliers claim that the big supermarkets use their dominant position to gain at their expense by bullying them into price cuts so low that this affects their livelihoods. (Allen, 2009, p.81) If we explore the people who work for these suppliers, evidence suggests that if it wasn’t for cheap labour, products we buy on shelves would be unaffordable. Yes, suppliers are suffering trying to keep prices low for supermarkets but these then affect the workers that these suppliers employ. In the UK, low paid vulnerable migrant workers, work in dangerous conditions for extremely low pay, usually doing jobs that others won’t do, working in supermarket pack houses and plant farms that operate outside the restrictions of the law, these workers are not in a position to challenge these issues therefore exploitation goes on and stays hidden whilst supermarkets profit.(Allen, 2009,p.82) A ...

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