Shoprite is receiving sympathetic support from a local authority in a dispute with the Department of Trade and Industry.
The department has denied claims its retail survey has been compromised because one of the consultants involved, Black Grace Cowley, is the retained agent for supermarket rival Tesco.
Ramsey Commissioners say they have some sympathy with Shoprite’s position, and member Leonard Singer says, while the principal of the study is welcome, its use without the input of Shoprite is questionable: "Shoprite were very reluctant to take part in it and the commissioners were very sympathetic to that because when you produce something like this, not only have you got to be unbiased, but you have got to appear to the public to be unbiased. That doesn't appear to be the position on this retail study.
"Shoprite are the major retailers on the Island and so you have got to ask the question, if they haven't put their input into this is the whole thing invalidated? It's possible that it is."
An open meeting involving the commissioners, a department representative and Ramsey Chamber of Trade will take place on October 6.
(Picture: The entrance to Ramsey Town Hall, from manxscenes.com).