When it comes to buying, who’s agenda is it anyway – asks Howard Popeck

Are some high-profile retailers as independent as they make out, or are they covertly owned by their suppliers? And why should it matter?

It’s doubtful if the public will ever know for sure, but my guess is that yes, some certainly are. I will need to qualify the term ‘owned’ later, but initially, just consider the situation in the retail franchised automotive world where I worked for some years between Subjective Audio and simply-STAX.

A ‘civilian’ car buyer already knows that a franchised car retailer is – in the main – going to be ‘solus’ by which I mean say Audi or Ford, or Toyota and so on. You just don’t see one make along side another, not in a franchised official car showroom at least. You may well see competitive makes on the same site, also under the same dealership name – but always in a separate showroom. In Cambridge for example, there is a Porsche specialist who in an adjacent showroom represents Aston Martin. You get the idea I'm sure.

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