Retail regulations-(08.09.02)

The European Commission has announced a further step towards creating a single market, with the announcement that it is to attempt to reduce barriers to cross European retail sales promotions. This should free up markets such as Germany and Belgium, which in particular are aimed at protection of small local shops from hypermarkets.

In addition to allowing promotions such as "buy-one-get-one-free" the rulees will also remove restrictions on goods being sold at a loss. These rules are often in place to prevent supermarkets aand major manufacturers jointly stifling competition with price controls and most favoured product placement on supermarket shelves. It is in the interest of consumers that freedom for retail promotion exists, but protection is still required over anti-competitive behaviour.