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Supermarkets gear up for Christmas battle

It has been revealed that Asda and Tesco have reduced the price of unleaded petrol and diesel by three pence a litre in the run-up to Christmas. While the companies remain adamant that all they are doing is passing on recent oil price reductions the fact remains that the Christmas period is one of the more vital for the UK retail sector and everybody is fighting tooth and nail to grab the attention of UK consumers.

We have seen hundreds of millions of pounds of promotions and discounts announced over the last few days and we should see many more before Christmas is upon us. Asda and Tesco have been by far and away the more aggressive in the promotions market but Morrison, soon to lose its chief executive, has grown its market share to a record level for the company. While the big boys battle it out for your attention there is no doubt that medium to smaller sized operations are struggling.

When the UK recession is finally over we may see a very different retail field to the one which entered the downturn. Medium to smaller size retail operations are falling by the wayside on a regular basis and there is growing concern about the influence and power which the "big five" supermarkets have in the UK.

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