Washington, D.C. – Today, Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan toured a wholesale grocery distribution warehouse in the San Francisco Bay Area of California to hold the latest in a series of roundtables discussing retail challenges and what Washington is doing to enforce the nation’s long-ignored antitrust laws.
The event took place at PITCO Foods, which services 12,000 independently-owned convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores and food service operators in Northern California and Nevada.
PITCO President and CFO David Luttway led participants on a tour of his warehouse and laid out examples of the rampant price and package-size discrimination that make it difficult for independent grocers to compete against big chains on items ranging from coffee to cooking oil.
“We’re deeply honored that Chair Khan took the time to visit our warehouse to hear for herself the concerns we have as wholesalers and retailers competing against big national chains that refuse to fight fair,” Luttway said. “We face unfair pricing every day, and it hurts our businesses and our customers. Our message is very simple: We’re only asking for a level playing field.”
Also attending the event was Chris Jones, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Grocers Association.
“PITCO is a massive operation, and it costs no more or less to send truckloads of products to them or another warehouse with a different corporate logo,” Jones said. “The real-life examples of marketplace discrimination Chair Khan is seeing today are a daily fact of life for independent grocers across this country, and we hope this will inspire action in Washington to update and enforce the nation’s antitrust laws.”