South Africa - Pretoria - 20 may 2019 File photo: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency/ANA

JOHANNESBURG  - Supermarket chain store Pick n Pay said on Tuesday that it would continue to engage South African competition regulators to address its concerns about the retailers market dominance in shopping malls.

This is after the Competition Commission in May said that it wants Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar and Shoprite to stop enforcing exclusivity clauses in their lease agreements in shopping malls to allow for more competition.

The multi-million rand sector came into focus earlier this year when Massmart lodged a complaint with the Commission alleging that retail giants blocked rivals from accessing malls.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman said some of the Commission's findings would damage the interests of consumers. 

"We were concerned to read in late May of the findings of the Competition Commission inquiry into the retail sector. We have engaged extensively and constructively with the Inquiry team and will continue to do so," Ackerman said.

"This includes areas where we believe that their findings are based on errors of fact or interpretation, and where their draft recommendations would damage the interests of consumers."

In its provisional report on the grocery retail market inquiry in May, the Competition Commission said the formal grocery sector has high levels of concentration.

The Commission said Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths together have a 72 percent market share and that long-term exclusive lease agreements reinforce market concentration, excluding challenger retailers and specialist stores.

Ackerman said Pick n Pay will continue to work with the Consumer Goods Council, BUSA and others in partnership with the new government, adding that South Africa has lost too many years and it was now time to put the foot on the accelerator.

- African News Agency (ANA)