Chain Stores.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 7th July 1942.

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Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, since the outbreak of war, the number of retail outlets have been increased by the action of the multiple variety chain stores in selling patent medicines and goods in higher price ranges than those sold by them before the war; and whether, as a preliminary to a reduction in the number of points of distribution, he will require such firms to confine themselves to their pre-war activities?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Since the outbreak of war most classes of traders have varied the type of goods they sell to suit changing circumstances. Under the Location of Retail Businesses Order, made in November last, a trader must obtain a licence before selling in his shop any categories of goods not sold by him in a previous period. I do not think it would be in the public interest to adopt my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion.

Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

While I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, is he aware that the Location of Retail Businesses Order is like locking the door after the pony has bolted?

Mr. De la Bère:

Nothing further was ever intended.