Ex-Sainsbury's boss: Scotland could face pricier food

The outgoing Chief Executive of Sainsburys, Justin King has warned an independent Scotland could face much higher food costs. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The outgoing Chief Executive of Sainsbury's, Justin King, has warned an independent Scotland could face much higher food costs.

Speaking in the Financial Times (£) he said:

“Once it is a separate country, we and other retailers will take a view of what the cost structure is of that industry, and of course the revenue structure too. If you were to strike that today, there is no doubt Scotland is a more costly country [in which] to run a grocery retail business.”

In the same article John Fingleton, former chair of the Irish Competition Authority and chief executive of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading said:

“Scotland is very sparsely populated and retailers carry that extra distribution cost out of the centre.

"If those costs are isolated to Scotland only, it will just push up the prices in Scotland and lower prices in England. All of the retail sectors where in-time distribution matters [will be looking at this].”